It has been an interesting journey as I worked to translate the words of yesterday to what could work today. According to the Oxford dictionary, a warrior is “a person engaged or experienced in warfare”. A true warrior doesn’t need a war. A warrior, in my definition, is someone who stands up for what is right and what is true every day. They have the strength to sustain and maintain focus under pressure. It doesn’t mean that they have always made the right decisions. They were strong enough to live with the consequences.
It seems to me that whether warriors are male or female, scoundrels or persons of character, or just plain obsequious toads, there is something that we can learn from each person. Some give wise consul, some share what they have learned from their mistakes, and yet others are able to show up and be accountable in troubling times.
I n today’s rather rocky world, it is important for us to identify those warriors, male or female, that can impart the lessons that each of us so desperately need to learn. It should be a personal list. A warrior can be anyone that you can learn from.
In the wrap-up, the ground rules are rooted in the need for continuous learning and self-growth.
Learn to Listen. Listening can be downright hard. You want so badly to answer when you should just listen. You must realize that not everyone is asking for your opinion, an answer, or for you to wave your magic wand. To quote Cynthia, a woman that I once mentored, “Please, seek to understand. I don’t need an answer. I need you to listen. If you have questions, ask! As I am still learning, I’ll answer if I can.”
Learn something new or different every day. I learned young that we only have the moment that we are in. You can’t change the past. You can only make the best of every day. You can take the time to learn one new or different everyday. Most days, it will be something small that just tweaks your direction rather than creates an upheaval.
Learn to Speak out. I have always been one to speak my mind. To that end, there is no excuse for any person, particularly a Caucasian, to exercise with impunity bigotry, prejudice, discrimination, or racism. No excuse. In fact, it is wrong to think it. It is wrong to act on it. I don’t really care how you were raised. If you see something wrong and stand aside, you are part of the problem and are not part of the solution.
Learn to Be accountable: Just do it. The short answer to this is that “every decision that you ever made was a good decision the day that you made it.” You have to own the consequences of every decision. You should never try to undo a decision. You usually can’t.
Learn to Show up. Think about the number of times that you didn’t meet your commitments. I aim for showing up 100% of the time. After reviewing my journals, I am at about 80%. 80% isn’t high enough. Based on the state of the world today, everyone of us, individually, has to change the way that we show up. I have learned that you grant respect; you don’t earn it. However, my respect is yours to lose. We must show-up every day. You can’t change yesterday. You can make the most of every minute you have.
My Rule 14 Challenge for you: This is will be harder than you think.
- When you get up, pick one person that you can appreciate today. Send them a note and recognize them for the positive influence that they have had on your life. E-cards are a good start.
- Practice the Attitude of Gratitude. Say thank you. Ask what you can do to help? Remember, what goes around, comes around.
- Each morning, set a goal to learn something new. Write the goal down. Record what you learned. Decide what steps you will take to leverage the lesson.
- What did you learn about yourself today? It is time for a little self-reflection. Write it down. Identify situations where you might have reacted poorly rather than as a person of character that you know yourself to be.
- Were you bigoted in response to an event?
- Were you prejudiced against someone without fact or justification?
- Did you discriminate against someone because of their race, age, sex, religion, or anything else?
- Did you decide of just a nanosecond that you were superior to someone else?
- Add your own questions here.
Remember, your God, whatever your beliefs, doesn’t make junk. We all come into this world a winner. It is what we do with our life that matters. When the end of your life comes and you face your final reckoning, what will it be? When you are asked what you contributed to the lives of others, what will the answer be?
No one expects that we can change the world overnight. We can take one step at a time to address the injustices of the past with compassion and understanding. It is important to remember respect once lost is often gone forever. There is still time to make changes.
You are braver than you think.
Being a Warrior is easier than you think, you take one step at a time, one day at a time.
Always remember the words of Yoda, “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”
Followed by, the most famous Yoda quote, “Do. Or do not. There is no Try.”
Welcome to the Enlightened Warrior’s Club.