One of my 4th of July Traditions over the past couple of years (which I hope will become a long-standing, time-tested tradition) is to watch The Patriot. For some reason, I had never realized what a foundational movie it was to me. The story of a good man overcoming all odds, being a boss, and winning the American Revolution is a familiar one to me. However, I noticed a few points of note from this year's watch through that stood out to me and that I think are very relevant to everyday life.
Here they are:
1. You have to have principles.
I think this might be the most important, foundational thing of all: if you have beliefs, whether latent or active, you will need them for any sort of battle. I think this is because in order to have a battle, there have to be opposing sides. Cultivating principles is tantamount to choosing a side. (Just fly in the face of "Some Nights." Just do it.)
2. You might not want to fight for something, but you might have to.
I either want to fight and don't know what the heck I'm fighting, or I don't feel like fighting for anything and find as many excuses as I can for why I can't. I'd like to think that when opposition or injustice comes, I would choose to fight it, but more often than not, I have to be forced into it, or go kicking and screaming.
3. You might lose everything.
Possessions, property, homes, family, friends, and possibly you own life will be taken from you. That is the cost of believing in a revolutionary idea. Its hard, painful, and leads to despair. However...
4. You are never just fighting for you.
I often feel like I'm alone; alone in what I deal with, alone in my ambitions, in how I think, and in what I think is right. The thing is, when I start fighting, I start to see the invisible soldiers: people around me who are dealing with their own battles. Sometimes its the same battle that I'm fighting. Fighting for something brings out who I really am. Its like Fight Club. I don't even know it most of the time, but the battles I fight matter to everyone who I matter to and for everyone who will ever matter to me, simply because what I fight for will define my whole life.
5. Some things are worth fighting for.
If it is something I believe in, base my life on, realize I must fight to protect it and sacrifice everything for it, it must be something really unpopular, something that may seem really delusional, and something that seems worth it. I hope I'm brave enough to fight for those things.
I'll see you out on the battlefield.