Tending the garden is a relaxing pastime, but it does not prepare one for the inevitable battles of life. It is easy to be calm in a serene setting.
To be calm and serene when under attack is much more difficult; therefore, I tell you that it is far better to be a warrior tending his garden rather than a gardener at war.
~ Chinese Proverb
One of a few mantras I try to live by as I figure out who I am (it’s not easy being me). Lately though, I’ve noticed that whilst I am a warrior – of warrior spirit etc. Living in a garden has resulted in my tools becoming quite blunt.
The ferocious tenacity and focus required to be a “warrior” on the battle field isn’t needed in a garden. Things are pleasant, new skills are attained in a leisurely manner. And any risks are minor in the grand scheme of things. The world is comfortable and I am fine.
A large majority of the world/society will tell you that this is not a problem, they will lull you into a false sense of security believing that your blunt and gently rusting weapons of defence are not necessary. But woe betide you, should they turn to you in need of help and you can’t provide your services.
I’m a firm believer that regardless of how evolved we are as humans, a community hierarchy will forever be part of our existence. Violence – in all forms – is part of what makes us imperfectly human. To shun or deny its very existence will only accelerate our demise. It will bring us back to animalistic urges. Granted not in a physical blood and gore fashion, but everything else that’s just as bad.
I’m loathe to bring up the comparison, but what with President Trump causing all sorts of turmoil the ignorance and violence that’s bubbling just under the rim is a small insight into the new-age violence people must deal with in the “new-world”.
Politricks has a z-axis…
Whilst I deliberately keep my mind clear of politics, it’s very hard to ignore and to even avoid comprehension of our present day “sides”. I used to think I was left-wing, liberal in views and the right to not be a dick to people. However in recent years with the advent of the internet and the ability to project your ideologies anonymously, the “liberal left” has fractured off the x-axis and taken a ride on a newly formed digital z-axis: coming at you for who you are, preaching free speech whilst shutting you down should you have opposing views.
Liberal fascism. Is that where we’re leaning towards? When you orbit in a new axis and find yourself believing in far more extremist “Radical Right” views than the Right wingers do themselves?
An example: If you’re a Cis-gendered white man you are essentially the textbook representation of everything that is wrong in the world. You are not entitled to an opinion, because it oozes of privilege. And you need to check it. You are guilty until proven innocent as a rapist who gets away with it. Your automatically mysoginistic and must be terminated. You must be shut down. In the same breath, a knee jerk “All Lives Matter” is chanted.
Except for you.
But I digress.
Even in a world trying to break down walls – they’re simultaneously building them up. The “Us vs Them” mentality Will. Not. Die. It cannot die. It should not die. It’s the very thing that’s kept us alive for so long, along side the ability to identify superiority in tactics, people and environment.
The problem now, is what with so many warriors taking up gardening and forgetting their tools, traditions, customs and manners have eroded beyond anything imaginable and are being replaced with sound-clip ideals that get taken as gospel the second they’re posted to the internet.
To have people like Milo Yiannopoulos trying to bring discussion back to the forefront of the Western World is a sad but curious phenomenon. I don’t necessarily agree with everything he has to say – but he will let anyone with an honest question or statement be heard. Unfortunately, the same respect isn’t given by those who feverishly oppose him. In many instances it’s like trying to reason with a 5-year old child in the peak of the mother of all meltdowns. It’s embarrassing.
And this goes back to the warrior mentality – being able to maintain serenity and calmness in the middle of what one can only call a first world cluster-fuck of consciousness. Critical thinking has all but gone out of the window – what the media say is also gospel and will be put through 20 paces of Chinese whispers before it hits your TwitterGramBook feed.
Discipline is dead…
And here I am – looking at my rusty blunt tools that I’ve neglected. Feeling a bit old and battered, lacking the discipline and focus my childhood years were fortunate of being filled with thanks to Shotokan Karate, ITF/WTF Tae Kwon Do, and Capoeira.
Martial Arts schools are one of the very last “safe spaces” where you can continue to grow as a person in a community that is straight talking and doesn’t treat you like a special fragile snowflake. The traditions are solid but not unyielding. The friendships are blood-deep and the respect earned and established.
Here, be wolves…
I’m also no longer in a garden – I’ve somehow managed to migrate into a field full of sheep and have thought of myself as a sheep for so long, I’d forgotten what it’s like to voice an opinion and be challenged by acquaintances and enjoy an instance of verbal fencing with true friends.
The age of social media has forged faux friends, where we become paranoid about upsetting anyone. Even when they only know your name and maybe see you once in a while. Before – a true friend would sit for a meal and break bread with you. They’d know your parents on a first name basis and their sofa would be there for you whenever an emergency deemed it needed – or just a break away from the world.
Brandishing the word “Savage” has pleasantly been appropriated into a celebratory statement of someone’s stern command of a situation that wasn’t necessarily selfish in nature, but bold and evolving.
Wolves are also celebrated for their pack mentality. There’s power in numbers, so long as you know you’re amidst the right kind of wolf-pack. Or at the very least – you’ve finally woken up to realise you’re a wolf stood in plain sight, in a field of sheep.