I am not a brave man, don’t pretend to be… not sure I wish to be one. That’s not to say bravery is not virtuous. I admire the brave. True bravery falls into a wide spectrum somewhere between rash abandon and inertia. Within that field, I tend to stand too close to abandon.
It is the romantic in me. I mean romantic in the classical use of the word although, I suppose the modern sense fits if you think of the love of concepts and principles rather than people.
“I’ve always wanted to fight a desperate battle against impossible odds.” That’s one of my favorite movie lines and my Quixotic life quest. Planting my flag on the hill of ideals and fighting to the death is the greatest opportunity to live that this life holds.
If that sounds paradoxical—well, it is. We shall all surely die. To die in the pursuit and defense of your beliefs is both to live well and to die well. In the War Between the States, (Google it, kids and Yankees), before the age of modern battlefield communications, when a commander didn’t know where to lead his men the best course was to “march to the guns.” If you go to where you hear the battle raging; there you will discover what to do.
In “these trying times” when hiding, walking away, and sheltering behind restrictive, popular demands is in vogue, marching to the guns is considered a mark of deranged thinking—that of a lesser intellect. So be it, I don’t claim intellect any more than I do bravery.
I will fight to the death for the people and things I hold dear. I do not do so because I am brave, but because death is preferable to life without principles and values. Those things and the people that possess them are worth dying for. I am not without fear, it is simply that, for me, death is not the scariest thing to be faced down.
I write about ghosts, werewolves, things that go bump in the night, and lurk under the bed. I do not fear monsters, except those that wear human faces and rattle the chains of religious, political, and social tyranny.
A pyrrhic victory against this enemy is a victory worth the price because there is no compromise with tyrants—only a lull in the fighting. Marley’s ghost wore the chains he forged in life. I think Dickens was right on with that observation. Dress for eternity. Even God is crazy about a sharp dressed man.