Today, I want to talk with you about one of my favorite quotes, and I think a lot of you will relate with this as well. The quote is “It is better to be a warrior in a garden than a gardener in a war.”
It is better to be a warrior in a garden than a gardener in a war.— Unknown
It’s been attributed to a lot of different people and most say the author is unknown but, no matter, it’s a great quote.
It highlights one of the core roles of manliness and masculinity and that is of being a protector.
It’s fascinating to me but over the past couple of weeks, I’ve received quite a few responses from people on our social media channels suggesting that not every man needs to know how to shoot a gun, or throw a punch, or any number of skills I believe every man should be at least somewhat familiar with.
I’m not suggesting every man become an expert at these skills but he should at least know how to defend himself and those he cares about. And, that’s what I want to talk with you about today – how we, as men, can do a better job at this.
Now, to address my critics who suggest not all man are warriors, I understand. I understand that we have lovers, not fighters. I understand we have educators and artists. I understand we have those who oppose violence. And I also understand there are a lot of men, and women, who are living in delusion about the way things work.
Here the questions we should be asking:
Why does this have to be an either or conversation? Why is it that you are a lover or a fighter? Why is it that you have to be an educator or artist or a soldier or warrior? Is it possible for men to be both?
There’s a reason I love this quote so much. You can be soft. You can be weak. But when the battle comes to your front door, you’ll get destroyed or someone you love will. Or, you can be gentle, kind, compassionate, and caring and if the wolf comes to your door, you can stomp his face in.
That’s what I want everyone to understand. As men, we should be warriors in a garden. Warriors pursuing what we love and what we enjoy. But, prepared to go to battle on a moment’s notice and when the situation calls for it.
So, now that you understand where I’m coming from, I want to give you some insight into some areas you need to do to be prepared so you can be a ready warrior.
Guys, this is huge. If you’ve been sitting on the coach for years with a bag of potato chips, you’re asking for trouble.
I know exactly what this is like, I’d come home from work and my kids would jump on my leg and ask me to play with them and I literally could not.
You need to get your body in shape if you have any hope of being the protector you’re called to be. Fitness, nutrition, sleep, everything that will make your body healthy. I’m not going to go into all the details but you can check out the podcast we did with New York Times Bestselling Author, Drew Manning about how to get your butt in gear at www.orderofman.com/053.
Men, there are too many guys stuck with their noses in their phones. They have absolutely no idea what is going on around them. In fact, you may have seen people run into cars and telephone poles because they aren’t watching where they’re going.
It’s funny but it’s also pathetic!
Get your nose out of your phone and get clear about what is going on around you. Where are the exits? Are people acting strange? What is the general mood of the environment?
There’s a ton more to consider when it comes to situational awareness. You can check out another Friday Field Notes on the topic at www.orderofman.com/FFN020.
Now, once you have the physical fitness thing under control and you’ve learned to become aware of your surroundings and the situations in which you find yourself, it’s a good idea to learn how to defend yourself using your fists and body.
Becoming stronger, more conditioned, and improving your situational awareness are great first steps but they won’t always keep you from finding yourself in an altercation.
So whether you are interested in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or Krav Maga or any other form of martial arts, the ability to turn your body into a defensive and offensive weapon is important. You might want to check out my interview with Rodney King at www.orderofman.com/048 to learn a bit more or my interview with former Heavyweight UFC Champion, Bas Rutten, at www.orderofman.com/018 for some more information on this.
This is the one that seems to get people more fired up than anything but I think learning how to use a firearm is a critical skill every man should develop at least to some degree.
I understand that you may not like guns. I understand that you may not want to carry one around. I understand that you may be a little scared of them because you don’t understand how they work.
But, the reality is, that at some point you may find yourself staring down the barrel of one or finding yourself holding one. I think it would probably be a good idea you know how to operate one.
You should know the 4 firearm safety rules, you should know how they work, you should have some experience with firing one, and you should practice using a firearm.
I just had a great conversation with former Army Ranger, Neal Currey with Ready Gunner which you can check out at www.orderofman.com/080.
So there you have it guys, a couple of quick and easy skills you should all be developing to turn yourself into that warrior in a garden. It’s my hope that you never have to use these skills in a life-threatening situation. It’s my hope that situational awareness alone will keep you out of harm’s way. It’s my hope that you won’t find yourself confronted with violence and hate.
But, as I’ve said before, a man’s job is to protect and he can’t fulfill that role while playing the “gardener in the war.” He has to hope for the best and prepare for the worst.
That’s all I have for today. Make sure you check out our headquarters at www.orderofman.com for more podcasts and articles on all things manly and, while you’re there, take a look at our elite mastermind, the Iron Council. This is a group of men who are dedicated to succeeding and helping other succeed at high levels. You can see what it’s all about at www.orderofman.com/ironcouncil.