We’ve been talking about living the life of a modern day warrior for some time now, and I’d like to offer a few conclusions.
A warrior is never afraid to admit when he’s made a mistake. Mistakes are a part of living. The best we can do is to learn from them and hope that nobody gets hurt by them. But some people will never admit they made a mistake. They will find ways to blame others and in doing so, they deny themselves the opportunity to learn and improve themselves.
By admitting mistakes, the warrior recognizes that there might be embarrassment and/or ridicule, but he knows that he will be stronger for it. It has been said that a steady diet of humble pie never fattened anyone up, but it makes life go easier. When we are young, it seems like humble pie is on the menu every day. As we get older, we might not have it fed to us quite as often, but we realize that there are still a few slices left.
A warrior sets goals, maps them out and executes them. He will also know that there is usually more than one way to approach a situation or a task, and that sometimes it’s really good to have a Plan B ready to execute. And in some extreme cases, a Plan C or D wouldn’t hurt.
The warrior’s spirit is indomitable. However, it must be kept under control or it can lead you astray. At the same time, it must not be suppressed entirely, for then we have nothing to guide us in our daily lives.
The warrior always strives for self-improvement. This striving is a journey, not a destination, because there is always something new to learn. I will close with two excellent quotes from “The Martial Way and Its Virtues”, by F. J. Chu.
“[T]he person best equipped to fight this battle [between good and evil] is he or she who has assumed the traits of the warrior…the intellectual, physical, emotional, and spiritual qualities of The Martial Way. It is he who knows how to fight, and is confident in his abilities, who does not need to. It is he who has accepted and embraced moral principles to guide his life who does not stumble in the face of temptation. It is he who knows and accepts the need of the body and mind for a balance between labor and recreation who can work harder and more productively. It is who has taken the long, arduous path of integrating all of the many needs of body, mind, and spirit who will quietly lead the way.”
“Martial arts without compassion and honor promises only violence. Stripped of its spirituality, it threatens injury and suffering to both its victims and its practitioners. In the end, this higher ideal is what separates the warrior from the predator.”