The title is an obvious statement, but bear with me...
My writing this week, as always, is guided by the stanzas of the Art of Peace:
The penetrating brilliance of swords
Wielded by followers of the way
Strikes at the evil enemy
Lurking deep within
their own souls and bodies
Notice how the sword is not wielded at some external foe, but towards the evils that lurk within.
As life would have it, this weeks stanza coincides with the massacre in Wisconsin. Here we have a perfect example of a human who never evolved beyond what scares him, and surrounded by others full of fear, succumbed to the vile and terrible aspects that we as humans are all capable of.
I would like to contrast this individual with the man that is and was General George Washington.
If you have been reading these posts, you know that I like to use extremes to make my points and these two humans are at the extreme ends of the spectrum.
You see, real manliness is not fully actualized in war or in battle. You are a real man if you can handle the demons that come calling in the middle of the night when you are alone and sleep escapes you.
It is in that moment that your manliness is truly tested. Are you brave enough to face your worst fears or do you succumb to them and let them guide your waking hours?
Lets imagine not the particular behaviors of our two examples, but what they possibly faced the night before they changed the course of countless other lives.
For the individual (whose name I think should never be shared whether on a blog or in the media) what do you think his private moments were like the night before he succumbed to his most evil self?
Do you think he had death metal screaming through his brain, do you think he had visions of grandeur? I imagine his night before was full of fear and shame.
Evil is aways associated with fear and if you believe you're a man in today's society any experience of real fear is closely accompanied by shame.
"How can I be a man if I feel fear so deeply"?
I imagine he turned to his guns or his ideas of strength believing that they would quiet the demon, make it go away.
Silly little child, don't you know that you can't get rid of that which is simply the other side of the coin?
Without fear there is no courage. Without hate there is no love.
Men understand this, children don't.
What do you imagine General George Washington experienced the night before December 23, 1783--the day he resigned his commission as supreme commander of the continental Army?
Demons take many forms, do you think a demon disguised as ultimate power is any less wicked? The man could have been King!
Imagine the strength it must have taken to strike down that temptation?
Do you remember the first Batman movie with Michael Keaton? There is a scene were the Joker and his henchmen kill all the patrons of the Gotham museum except for Vicky Vale. After everyone is dead, Vale asks " what do you want?"
The Joker responds with a very serious look: "my face on the one dollar bill".
SMBRs we live in a time where people believe that they can change the world and become famous through expressing the worst aspects of each one of us.
These members of our society are lost children who never learned that true greatness comes not from the elimination of external demons, but from the acceptance of and responsibility for the ones within.