Virtue of the Sword
This is, for the most part,
no longer a society that values the warrior and his virtues. Ours is a
society that has forgotten the sacrifices and struggles of so many who
came before them, the fruit of whose effort and sacrifice we daily enjoy;
it is a society that will ask of its military, but not honor or care for
its men. It is a society where virtue is often looked at askance, where
character is not required of those who would seek to lead us. A society
that enjoys enormous plenty yet denies its military the necessary munitions
to train to protect this very wealth. Why do a significant number of its
citizens seek training and embrace virtues that seem passe? Perhaps not
all have forgotten that less than 60 years ago the entire world was involved
in a great struggle to determine if a free nation could exist. Most of
us know someone who participated in that struggle and through whose efforts
we have the gift of choice and plenty which seems to be taken so lightly
by so many.
"Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory there is no survival". Winston Churchill
"For without victory
there is no survival." These words define the role of the male in
history, his service to life. The harsh reality of freedom in a nation,
a fact that is overlooked or denied by many, is that our freedom is the
direct result of our strength. It was by struggle and conflict that we
became free and have kept ourselves that way. We have received from our
ancestors, at great cost, a precious gift that must be cherished and nurtured
if we are going to pass it on to our children. It must be protected, fought
for if necessary, and we must not let this gift be taken from us by those
whose rhetoric and actions are nonsense. These are people who seek things
for themselves at the expense of the whole.
"Freedom means responsibility
and that is why most men shun it."
"If you lose the past,"
the 9th century Chinese poet Meng Jiao says, "The will easily crumbles."
The noblest aspects of human consciousness, our virtues, become passe ever more quickly as we find substitutes for living a life connected with the reality of our existence. The less we grow, hunt, and gather our food, the less directly involved we are in protecting ourselves and our families and nation, the more readily we lose our virtue. The less we know of and value our past, The less we honor those who, with their courage and sacrifice, have bequeathed to us our current state of freedom and plenty, the less likely we are to pass this enviable state on to those who follow us. Are we so self-absorbed that our decisions are made on the basis of our personal wants and our ease? Are we as a people so easily bought that we will sell our freedom and that of our children for comfort?
"To be a samurai is
to be polite at all times."
a means whereby we can pass on to others the knowledge and wisdom acquired from those who have preceded us. It is not about self-aggrandizement or superiority. It is not about titles and rank, or organizations or profit. Most of the time I feel that I am learning more from my students than they are learning from me. The teacher becomes the student and the student the teacher. Neither can exist without the other.