Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Respect is given not earned.

Our ancestors generally had a prohibition against waring againt themselves. It was considered a highly undesirable pastime. It’s why Druids could theoretically walk between waring armies and call a halt to the battle. Our ancestors respected authority. Indeed our ancestors were big on respect. Insults were saved for ones foes, and those in need of a good reminded of what a culture found virtuous.

Yet today, respect seems to be a thing seldom found. We’ve cheapened lives, communication once crafted carefully and following a set of rules, is now “instant”. Where we once walked to the boarder of our lands, and talked to the other tribes, and would agree not to steal each others cattle too often, let alone go to war. Now we jump online, and type off a missive, which may or may not have meant what we meant it to say. Today we are “literate” yet we are not. People don’t take the time to check the meaning of a word, or to read another’s email. It’s about who shouts loudest.

So where does this put a Warrior? In the past (even well into Christian times) Warriors went about armed. To carelessly throw words about, was inviting some to try and remove bits of you with their weapons. So there were codes of conduct. Distilling it down it came down to this. Don’t show disrespect (at least publically) to anyone, be civil, and don’t be an ass.

If we look at a number of Warrior cultures, we see they expected the warrior to be eloquent, able to recite, and create poetry. Cowardice was not just running away in battle, but it was also how you acted in battle. More often than not the Warriors would give the other side “quarter” when asked for. That other side would slink off (or sit quietly) and not cause trouble. Bloodshed was not quite as indiscriminant at portrayed. Mind you at times it was, if you pissed the Roman off, they tend to wipe you off the face of the planet, just ask Carthange, Vercengetorix, or the Druids of Anglesey….oops you can’t. But if you look at history, Carthage and the Gauls both were well warned, and the massacre on Anglesey might actually never have happened!

So lets return to the point. As modern warriors, we need to be respectful, and mindful of others. We should never go to war on our own tribe. Warriors don’t suddenly go berserk for no good reason.

Indeed the Berserkers were worked up into the rage and probably took some interesting substances to get there. They were not allowed back in to society, till cleansed (or at least they bathed, and were calm). Similarly Cu Cuhlain, when he was in warp spasm had a way out (being thrust into barrels of cold water). We need to be mindful, that the warrior is capable (due to training) of causing extreme hurt, but that that is, like the sword, only to be drawn against enemies, and to be treated as a thing of respect.

So next time you post on a forum, reply to an email, or want to text angrily, remember the rule of how a Warrior should communicate. Respect is given till someone takes it away, not respect is earned.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this. This does sum up quite well how I think Warrior mindset differs from fighter mindset. The idea of 'respect is given' rather than automatically received is something that seems counter-intuitive to most, but is deeply needed by the Warrior as both a stop-gap, and as part of being what a Warrior is.

If you'd like you can check out my own musings on being a Warrior at my Society's blog, here:

Nytewatchyr said...

Very well spoken. Or is it written? How about... Very well put.