You can see them if you take the time to look. It doesn’t matter where you are; at the grocery store, in a bank lineup, or even sitting around your kitchen table. Take a second to see past the fog that perpetually surrounds the faceless forms we move around and past every day, just trying to get from Point A to Point B. There is greatness all around you.
If someone treats you poorly—maybe a server in a restaurant acts like you’re inconveniencing them, or a bank teller seems exasperated by your tedious financial transactions. Maybe someone behind you in traffic has the audacity to honk at you. How dare they? you think. Don’t they know I’m important too? Don’t they know I have a lot on my plate and really don’t need THIS right now?
They probably don’t know that. They’re probably lost in the same fog you are.
Take a second to look past it. What lies are they fighting today? What threatens them? What are they afraid of?
Every day, we are surrounded by warriors. People who are tired but keep forcing themselves out of bed in the morning to go to a job that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, because they have integrity. Or because they have a family to feed. People who have been told a thousand times they don’t have what it takes but keep going anyway because they believe they do. Or hope they do.
Maybe they just need someone else to agree with them.
Does the woman in front of you in the grocery line look tired and agitated? She probably is. See past the aura of annoyance. See her. She is fighting something.
Does your teenage son act as though they deserve the world on a silver platter even though they do nothing to earn it? What’s going on in his head? I know, you’ve tried to get the answer to that question on a daily basis for years. He might just need you to see him. Past the behaviour. Past the fear. See him. Remember what he was like when he was so small you could hold him with only one arm? Remind him of who he is just by the way you look at him.
A look can be that powerful. Because our expressions are the most significant mirrors the people around us will ever look into.
We are not meant to be a bunch of individuals wandering around just trying to stay out of each other’s way. We have the potential for something much greater. We can stand together.
It might not look like a battlefield out of Braveheart, but I assure you, it is one. We are in a world at war. There are forces that rise against all of us. And we have the power to stand. We have the ability to fight for loved ones, and for the people we walk past every day. It might not be by swinging a sword or shouting from the rooftops. It might just look like an undeserved smile that says, You’re going to be okay today.
There’s a warrior inside of you. You might not know that, but there is. Today, you might just need to hear that from me. Tomorrow, you might have the chance to tell someone else. And when you do, you will feel something that has been flickering deep inside you come ablaze.
The body, sluggish, aged, cold—the embers left from earlier fires,
The light in the eye grown dim, shall duly flame again.
Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass
My new book, Warrior, is coming out this fall. In honour of its release, I’m asking my readers to share their own stories. Do you have a story of valour or a warrior who has touched your life in some way? I’d love to hear about it! You can reply below or send your story to me on my Facebook page by clicking here.