Are You a Fighter?

Many times in my life I’ve asked myself this very question. What’s the answer? For me, it’s always fighter. For others, it depends. I’ve seen people who are fighters. Some who fight for some things and wait for others. I’ve even known people who were quite content to wait around for everything to be done for them by other people.

This question will mean many things to many people but, in this context, it doesn’t mean ask yourself if you are you violent. It means to ask if you fight for what is right, for what you want and for what you believe in. I wish more people realised this. I’ve actually asked people this very question on occasion and received an answer along the lines of, “well I don’t like hitting people so I guess I’m not a fighter.”

Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, Rosa Parks. There’s been many well known fighters in history. There’s even been fighters who have never been talked about. Almost everyone in the world has no idea who they were. The truth is, they were normal human beings, like you or I, who simply had their priorities in the right place. They had their hearts and minds invested in something. In changing something. Life today would not be as it is if not for those fighters. Both the well known and the lesser known. All because they weren’t scared to make tidal waves and cause revolution.

Admittedly, yes, there are some people who will think they have their priorities in the right place but really don’t and try to make changes which are detrimental to society. It saddens me that nowadays revolution to some means physically fighting with people. Starting civil wars and causing so much pain and destruction. And to what end? What has actually changed? What happened to society? Why do people think like this? Did MLK, Nelson Mandela or Rosa Parks go to violent lengths to see the results they did? No! So why do people think that it is ok to do so now?

It’s not even like people are just going to violent lengths with others. Some people go to physical war with their own bodies. Cutting themselves. Mutilating the beautiful body they were given. I admit, I have been in such a depressed state that I thought of killing myself but I would never have even thought to physically damage my body, even then. I understand that for some people it is an outlet for the pain they feel inside and that by hurting themselves physically it makes the pain inside diminished for a while as they focus on the pain they have just inflicted. However, I’ve known people who were willing to harm themselves to get attention for something, not even related to their lives, that they wanted someone else to fix even though they could have tried to fix it themselves if they could have been bothered to try (I’m not saying all cutters are like this but I’ve definitely met at least 3 who were).

And what about Armies? Do they not have to take an oath which says they swear fealty to their country and will serve and honour their country? How is causing pain and suffering honouring their own, or any other, country? Yes, I guess you can use the argument that the end justifies the means but at the end of the day, why should it have to? I’ve said it a thousand times before and I’ll say it again; society is not civilised in the least because if it were there would be no wars, pain or suffering.

In any case, perhaps the above question should be amended to “Are You a Warrior?” Or to be even more accurate, maybe people should just ask themselves whether or not they fight for what they believe in. However, there’s a specific reason I chose this title. Fighter literally means both someone who fights e.g. boxer or soldier, and an unyielding (which personally says to me stubborn) or determined person (Taken from dictionary.com). Therefore, I suppose it could all depend on your take on life. That cup half empty or half full rubbish. Or perhaps, just maybe, the definition that people choose to interpret from all those words with more than one connotation has more to do with their own personalities. If there is even a hint of violence in anyone then perhaps they choose to take the connotation of fighter to be someone who fights or an unyielding or determined person.

Of course, this is the point in the conversation where Occam’s Razor comes into play. The most simple explanation is most often the correct one. After all, this is not us talking about physics and string theory. It has to do with people’s priorities and whether they are willing to go get what they want or laze around waiting for it to come to them. If people are willing to sit around and wait for what they want to come to them, then they aren’t going to get very far in life and nothing will change for them. For people like me, who are willing to go get it for themselves, we will go far in life. We might even be able to make a difference to other people’s lives or even society as a whole.

Personally, I think the definition of a fighter should also include someone who fights for what they believe in so as to create change. Why should a fighter be seen as only someone impossible or violent? It doesn’t make sense. What else would you call someone who fights for what they believe in for change? An activist? The definition of which is an especially active, vigorous advocate of a cause, especially a political cause. I don’t like that word vigorous, it almost sounds violent saying the word itself. I suppose you could call us activists but the truth is that many of us are not vigorous in our efforts to create change. Yes, we have a passion to create change. Are we violent about it? No. There are many ways to create change that don’t involve violence, forcefulness or even stubbornness.

Sometimes it’s just the small things. Voices. If one person in a group voices an opinion how many people hear it? Only those within earshot which is usually just that group, right. If the entire group voices an opinion together how many people then hear it? Every other group or person within earshot. And so starts a Mexican wave effect. It’s been proven that the more people talking about an issue, the more attention it gets, the higher the chances of creating change. Maybe a small change or it may be a substantial change but either way, it’s a change. All it takes is a single voice to be heard by the right person/people.

We all have many weapons in our arsenal but some are better used than others. Words truly are our most powerful weapon. Capable of causing unbelievably torturous pain and also of creating massively positive waves of hope, happiness and, perhaps most importantly, change. They are our most malevolent and also our most benevolent characteristic. When chosen carefully, they can create beautiful things. All it takes is a little thought and consideration.

Bottom line: if you want to make a difference in the world, think about how to do it first. Try not to jump to violence at all because I’m pretty sure 100% of the time the pain and loss caused during the violence will not be forgiven nor forgotten by those who survive to see that the end justifies the means, and most people trapped in the centre of the violence won’t see it that way anyway. Violence is a brutal cycle. Once it starts, it’s very very difficult to stop. Everyone has something that they wish they could change. Every legend in history who has created change is nothing more than what you are, human. If they can do it then why not you?

Take some time today and consider this question and in which ways you could already be a fighter now or become one.

Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. – Barack Obama

Have a great Monday folks

AV

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