Posted at 12 p.m. Oct. 31, 2013

 

Daniel Herring

Daniel Herring


 

Raise bar for yourself,
those around you

By Daniel Herring
Online Editor

In a society intent on labeling and diagnosing everything, let me be the first to coin a new term for the upcoming generation, “Fingertip Warriors.” A generation more at home on the battlefield of their couch, comfortably trash talking unseen opponents while using their fingers to control an avatar on their TV screen, than going out into the world and proving their own worth. A generation whose confidence is bolstered by the distance between themselves and those with whom they are instigating a fight. A generation OK with mediocrity and handouts. A generation that runs from the first sign of hardship.

I sometimes ponder what it would be like to live in different eras of mankind’s history, usually taking time to pause on the Viking era, a time in which community represented everything. The world was only as big as the one a man could conquer and protect. Cowardice was not tolerated, and mediocrity meant death. To be the village idiot was a mark of shame, not something to be paraded about and thought of with any fondness.

In order to prove your worth as a man and as a warrior, you had to travel into the unknown to face trials, tribulations and battles that would forever change your life, and when you returned from the fire of your journey, you were a new man, purged of the unneeded and unwanted weaknesses that previously kept you from greatness. Nothing was given to you. You earned everything.

Most importantly, you didn’t undertake this journey alone. You traveled with your brothers into the fray, knowing you had their backs, and they had yours. Each individual had the responsibility of preparing himself for the journey. Gods forbid, you hadn’t girded yourself for and let the man down beside you.

While warriors of past might have also conquered to gain more wealth, a greater drive was always behind it, a drive to prove they were men, to themselves and to those around them. That desire to push yourself and to surround yourself with a peer group is sorely missing today.

This is an attitude we’ve lost, much to our detriment.

Battles of life without help

No longer do we have peers willing to judge us when we fail, to face the ever-purging fires of the trials of life. We no longer have a peer group who will hold the bar high and demand we rise to the occasion. Without this, we are left with mediocrity being the norm.

The men I chose to associate are the closest thing to true warriors I know. They’ve taken personal responsibility for their lives. Life does not happen to them. It happens for them. They are the masters of their existence, carving out the world they want to live and then protecting it for their loved ones. While ignorance may be bliss for many, for them it is unacceptable. They don’t live life retreating away from their battles, but use the fight as a chance to face adversity and grow from it. Their friends are their family, and they live by this motto: “It isn’t knowing your friends have your back. It’s knowing you have your friends’ backs.” They will not shrink from adversity, nor will they allow those around them to do so.

It is through the fire of life I am determined to walk. The trials I face will test my fortitude and willpower and be tempered by friends, true warriors.

It’s with those raised standards I now view the world. I scroll through posts on Facebook that talk about how great it would be to live in Switzerland if they passed a law that would require the government to give each citizen $2,800 a month, and I wonder why it would be so great. Why would I want to live in a world in which everything is taken care of for me?

Going out into the world and conquering challenges are what makes life worth living. While it is true life is short, it is the longest journey you will ever take. Go out, enjoy it and accomplish something epic.

When life throws a challenge at you, stand firm. Hold your ground and go to battle with that challenge. Surround yourself with friends who will go to battle with you and hold those friends to higher standards. Demand they rise to the occasion and battle life head on. Remember, “What you do in life echoes in eternity!”

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