We revere the fighter, the warrior, the one who trains and hardens him or herself for battle. We enjoy a good fight between equally matched opponents, and we enjoy even more when the little pitbull beats the lion. Many of us, especially from underdog worlds, have taken on this fighter persona, whether we actually do it in the ring, the cage, or in life. I, myself, like to flatter myself as a fighter for ideas and maybe even, sometimes, justice, however abstract that may be. I fight to help; I fight to love.
Today I am reassessing this time honored role because it simply needs to be reassessed and the rhetoric of it must evolve. I am not arguing here that we should abandon the spirit of the fighter or stop training as if our lives did not depend on it. It is always a matter of life and death, and this I will never forget. But I do believe that this fighter identity can keep us stifled, confined. Allow me to explain:
There is one goal in fighting: victory through someone or something else’s defeat. In fighting there is a great, powerful purpose because there is so much strength in hate! Let’s be frank, when we talk about fighting we are not really referring to some type of healthy competition. We are talking about punching and kicking, in a literal or metaphorical manner. Therefore, to clinch the constant role of being a fighter is to constantly search for destruction. To search for destruction, one is fueled by feelings of anger, and ultimately hate. Now, these feelings are human, and they can definitely be put to great use. There are many examples throughout history of powerful feats accomplished due to hate.
But to be brainwashed to believe that we are obligated to be warriors is to be confined to constantly looking for attack, continually defending ourselves, perpetually imprisoning our minds that our lives must be about us versus some other. Also, our instinct becomes to lash out and attack, and now I am not just referring to the violence of fighting, but about metaphorical fighting, which leads to stress, bitterness, ultra-critical accusations, and repetition of cliché themes. He or she who must always fight must always look to inflict blows to the other. We are a super critical society that are experts on how to tell the other what is wrong with the other, how to hurt and be vicious with our feelings and our ideas. We are flaw finders, and we expose those flaws mercilessly. We have drug problems, an obesity epidemic, educational despair, historical injustices, philosophical fallacies, and plain stupidity. Yes, we do. I agree.
And what then?
The fighter is victorious in destruction, but, I ask you, what has been created? Sure, we have made ourselves feel better by identifying how we are not like the other, and we have released our anger on some other thing that may or may not even realize it has been attacked! In fact that other may not even care about our feeble attempts at our own will to power. Let us admit this: very rarely is that other forever defeated. So what exactly has been accomplished? We may use this fighter identity to comfort ourselves into believing we have power, but if the above is correct, it is all a ploy and delusion to actually keep us static and passive. By being forced to be fighters, we are being victimized because the fighter identity keeps us fighting instead of creating.
There are injustices that must be recognized and understood, but the understanding alone does not create anything. In order to break the shackles of our anger, we must transfer our power into something positive and creative. We must invent. Inventors are ingenuous. Inventors evolve. Inventors are conscious of the past, but are future driven. We must become future driven innovators of our destiny.
One of the biggest problems I predict with transforming ourselves into this new inventor identity is that by pushing the inventor identity as our primary persona, we may feel like traitors or cowards. We have an honor code that promotes loyalty. Many of us think we must, therefore, be loyal to being fighters, or we will be betraying ourselves or our communities or our ancestors or our spirits. Here I am not advocating for an abandonment of that fighting spirit; it has its use and vigor, and it would be silly to promote passiveness instead of passion. I am not saying we must not be loyal to who we are, but we must re-evaluate our loyalty to ourselves and question our purpose. Are we loyal to destruction or to creation? Ultimately, we must decide.
I favor creation. I don’t care if someone wants to fight me. Bring it on. I come outside with nothing but dust in my hands. Win or lose, I continue, here or somewhere else. Yes, I enjoy a good fight of ideas, but how fruitful is my life if I am constantly bogged down in someone else’s fight or even in my own egotistical pursuit for battle and heroism. I want to multiply. I want to do something new and help others and create art and be entrepreneurial and be funny and silly and dance and love and laugh. Those things, too, are part of life, and those things, too, are our natural state. I refuse to be brainwashed that I am an angry man! We need struggle and competition, but we also need freedom from it in order to allow our imaginations to produce new, revolutionary evolutionary things. We need the option to create out of nothing, where there is no opponent, where there is no enemy. We need to find liberation in the air.
That is hard. That is frightening. That is so empty and unknown to us, to look into ourselves without bitterness or a past or a restriction or an excuse. That is, however, how we can get both inside and beyond ourselves and beyond others’ limitations upon us. The victim paranoid fighter identity is outdated. New ideas are in order so that we can fulfill our potential and be of service to our present and to future generations. Travel, meet new people, do crazy things, read, converse in a positive manner, practice inventing new ways to do things, which can be as simple as how you eat or how you communicate with others. Smile 🙂 Search for ways how things can be improved, and then actually action upon your ideas. We need you. We need your love and your passion more than we need hate, or even worse, a critical indifference.
Be loyal to you. It is you, only you, who has the power of filling loot into your life. Tu, solo tu.