The Reluctant Warrior

I wanted to be respected and admired. I was willing to settle for tolerated and ignored. But that was too much to ask for.

One more fight, one more battle was looming. Six years of struggles behind me. Six months to a finish line that has neither a cheering crowd nor a table of trophies. And yet, I’m tired. I may have hit the wall. I’m ready for this to be over.

The word battle sounds a bit melodramatic, but it is sadly accurate. The soldiers come and go; the officers are pretty much unchanged. The stakes are small, mostly egos and pocket change. Of course, it was Henry Kissinger who once noted that “University politics are vicious precisely because the stakes are so small.” Same deal. Even when I have found myself battling for a soul, it wasn’t mine but that of an organization that won’t know what it had till it is irretrievably gone.

I entered into all of this without anything to gain. In that regard I have been completely successful. That Zen-like state of nothingness is just as satisfying as it sounds.

The late Arnold Chambers, my speech teacher at Liberty High School, used to say, “Stand up and be seen. Speak up and be heard. Shut up and be appreciated.” As usual, I’ve got the first two under control.

One more battle. Unproductive. Unnecessary. And in many ways, irrelevant. I have become the reluctant warrior, sometimes bored, sometimes annoyed, but never willing to ignore the attack.

There are those who are positive that they will get to be spectators. Some of my readers may. Some are buying tickets for the wrong venue. But most of this blog’s readers know none of the people involved and couldn’t possibly care less. They see this blog for what it is; a description of the struggle to stay true to one’s core beliefs and to speak up even when the cost is high and the reward is non-existent. They relate. They understand that they are not alone. They continue their fight.

As for mine, it is a matter of opinion as to whether it is ego or my death grip on my perception of right and wrong that is driving me. Regardless, Mr. Chambers was right. I am looking forward to successfully completing my task.