Each day, each moment, that I am not either engaged in battle or preparing for battle, I am more exposed and vulnerable. I cannot afford insouciance with no guarantee of a chivalric declaration of war. Life is filled with surprise attacks.
To be battle ready requires diligent training and preparation. To create opportunity for victory once engaged in battle, requires strategy. Uncertainty comes about from the innumerable alternatives for training and strategic options. Yet to lead in battle, appears to require confidence.
I train and prepare daily, by exercising my mind and my body, productively adding layers to my essence. I strategize frequently, utilizing thoughtful analysis and a sincere effort toward truthfulness. Yet the truthfulness invariably leads me to uncertainty, which in turn results in a high number of casualties and ultimately, seeming defeat.
I am battle-ready; I am battle-tested; I am battle-scarred; I am battle-hardened; but I am not battle-acclaimed.
The casualties suffered so far, in large part appear to be a result of strength in numbers. I am consistently out-flanked and out-maneuvered by a larger force; typically larger in numbers and in influence. On most every front I am faced with such long-established entrenchments that the occupants often do not realize they are being fired upon. And when they do, they simply surround me and relieve me of my weaponry, or mount a full frontal assault, thus forcing me to the rear where my range is limited.
The casualties suffered so far have only been wounded; no dead. Despite being consistently out-numbered, and despite being consistently put in my place, and despite being consistently uncertain, this battle experience has enabled a strengthening of my own position. With each seeming defeat, I become more and more determined to reach the front and negotiate some common ground. I will not build trenches.
I don't see the enemy as the people manning their trenches. I see the enemy as the comfort and complacency found in those trenches. I see the enemy as the ground between opposing entrenchments. I see the enemy as the castles and palaces that the entrenchments are meant to protect. What the people in these fortifications do not see is that I am not the only one. There are others like me that do not occupy entrenchments; we are tunneling beneath the entrenchments and artificial borders in the active hope that the ground will one day collapse, forcing the people to rethink their positions. We are making slow inroads, and we will continue to work until we have effectively undermined the entrenchments and ultimately reach the ground beneath the palaces and castles. We do not want to see the people harmed; we want the people to see the harm.
This is a revolution; but for most people snug in their trenches, it is a silent revolution. We are not silent; but most people snug in their trenches, refuse to listen. Life can no longer be Us vs Them; but most people snug in their trenches, are snug in their trenches.
We must first demolish all trenches and then abolish trench warfare. We must first break free from rhetorical divisiveness, in order to grow beyond traditional combatants, and become thoughtful compatriots. We must first identify common ground, then meet on common ground, and ultimately expand common ground to be all inclusive.
I understand that, like a stone, in this world I am of some substance and weight. This being the case, I should aspire to be a skimming-stone, and resist the attractions of gravity. I understand that, like a tree, in this world I have roots and reach. This being the case, I should aspire to be a wild, forested specimen, and resist the attraction of decorative pruning. I understand that, like a river, in this world I have banks and flow. This being the case, I should aspire to be the raging Mississippi, and resist the attraction of the bucolic Pomme de Terre.
I must continue to search for the balance between ineffectual complaisance and caustic truthfulness. I must continue to search for the balance between acquiescent compromise and unavailing force. I must continue to search for the balance between battle scars and battle acclaim.
Each day, each moment, that I am not either engaged in battle or preparing for battle, I am more exposed and vulnerable...