To Die For
Greater love has no one than this,
that he lay down his life for his friends.
There are not a lot of things in life that people are willing to die for. Not much is as important to someone as his or her own life. Actually, it is rare to find someone who is willing to lay down his life for anything or anyone else. As Jesus said, no man has greater love than when he lays down his life for someone else. It really takes someone with a special spirit to even consider laying down his own life for someone else. The true warrior is just this type of person.
The warrior knows that there are times which may require him to put his life on the line to protect those he loves. This doesn’t mean that he has a death wish or that he doesn’t value his life just as much as the next man, but rather that he knows that some risks are worth taking and some people are worth defending, even if it means putting your own life on the line. This begs to question, who is worth defending with your life and why?
The secret of success is before attempting anything,
be very clear about why you are doing so.
Guan Yin Tzu
Many people say that they “would die for” their spouse or their children, but would they really? When the hammer is cocked, would they really take the bullet, or is this some chivalric fantasy that they have in their mind? Are they living in their own little fantasy world where they are the hero or do they really have the courage and character to put their life on the line for those that they love?
Let’s make this even more personal; do you have the intestinal fortitude to lay down your life for those you love if it came down to that? How do you know? This is something that most of us have never experienced before, so how can you be sure that you would not fold under pressure? Is there even anyone in your life that you would be willing to put your life on the line for? Who? Why? These are essential questions for the warrior to ask himself before he finds his back against the wall.
First say to yourself what you would be;
then do what you have to do.
Most people never stop to think about these questions because it is not really a jovial exercise to imagine yourself dying, for any reason. Nobody likes to focus on their own mortality. To the average person this seems like an exercise in depression, but to the warrior, this is an essential practice. The knights of old did this. The samurai did this. These warriors did not partake in this mental visualization out of a morbid death wish, but rather as a preparation in case they ever found themselves in such a circumstance.
This is the same reason that you should give some thought and even visualization to this subject – to be prepared for such an event, even if it never comes. Being prepared never hurt anyone. Don’t plan on losing. Don’t plan on dying. Never visualize yourself losing, but at the same time you need to know when and why you would be willing to put your life on the line.
A man’s action is only a picture book of his creed.
Who is worth this much to you? Why? How far would you go to protect those you love? Reflect on these questions and then prepare so that if you do find yourself in a situation where you do have to place your life in danger to protect others, you will ultimately come out victorious. Being victorious is never guaranteed, but preparation always increases your odds of succeeding. Don’t fold when your loved-ones need you most.
Courage is grace under pressure.
Cowards die many times before their deaths,
the valiant never taste of death but once.