- Mike Tyson
I've read history. I've seen empires rise and fall. I've been beaten so badly that I spent time in the hospital, and have been arrested for returning the favor. Broken bones have healed, mistakes have been forgiven by time and repentance, but I have never forgotten.
Life has never been a gentle experience for me. Always confrontational, combative, and overly inquisitive, I never tried to make it any easier. Like most men who have kept their masculinity in check, I've been able to adapt and overcome. My story isn't anything special, but I like to think my perspective is.
My dad never asked too many questions about my black eyes, crooked nose, and occasional loose tooth. It wasn't his place. He understood that it was my job to determine my place in the hierarchy. The lessons about exchanging the shoulders and exploding through a punch certainly came in handy more than once. It took a long time to figure out who I was, especially in relation to men I still admire greatly. My heroes: uncles, cousins, grandfathers, and especially my own father, all outshine me in glaringly obvious ways. I knew I'd never be the strongest of my clan. I'd never be the smartest, the fastest, or even the best looking. No, that wasn't my fate. That lesson came later.
I was approaching the onset of my teenage years, and engaged in a casual boxing match with my older cousin. My older cousin was built similarly to Dwayne Johnson. 6'4, 240. It certainly didn't take him long to put me down, even holding back. I struggled to get back to my feet after I had clumsily stepped into a jab that crossed my eyes. My cousin laughed and asked me if I was seriously getting up. I laughed, and tried to blink my vision clear before replying, “Always.” His answer? “We'll see.”
I can't tell you what is coming, Europe, but I can tell you that it is not going to be pretty. I can't tell you how to prepare for some hypothetical extrapolation of current events. What I can tell you is what our enemies think. They think you're weak. They think that after two World Wars and sixty years of propaganda that you have no fight left. You're barely an afterthought. I don't believe them, and I hope you don't either.
It's time to rise. From what I can gather, there are a great many of us who have never gotten past their fear of being punched in the face. Time to get over that, because what's coming next is going to be a lot worse than a bloody nose or swollen lip. It's going to be worse than any ass kicking that even I've experienced. We are going to lose, and probably more often than we would like. A close look at history reveals that even General George Washington took his share of lumps. He and his armies lost battles that they could afford to lose, and battles they couldn't afford to lose, but still persevered. It's time to be the heroes of our own stories.
Joseph Campbell's classic, The Hero With a Thousand Faces, tells us about a monomyth, a story structure and path that everyone from Luke Skywalker to Jesus have walked. Closer examination of the monomyth tells the story that we as boys are meant to live to become men.
The threshold is truly the first step of the adventure, because it is the first that asks sacrifice. Blood and pain are a small and temporary price to becoming more than what we are, and becoming who we are needed to be.
The world has enough pajama boys, NuMen, and homosexuals*. When there is a surplus of weakness, the value of strength is only increased. Give your life value; make it something that you would fight for. When the time comes, you'll be ready.
*this statement has been verified as redundant by the department of redundancies department