Achilles went into battle knowing that he would die, but be immortalized as a hero.
Nowadays, when studying The Iliad in a classroom setting, all anyone can talk about is how the bearer of the Pelian Spear had too much rage, that he wasn’t logical, wasn’t of the right mindset to even be near a battle.
I have the highest respect for people in the education field, but are you kidding me? Books are fantastic (I have pulled all-nighters to finish a novel more than a few times), and while written word can trick your brain into feeling like you are truly immersed in the literary world of your choosing, it cannot make you feel the serious toll of facing the ugly side of humanity, and the hard decisions that come with that.
In Ancient Greece, the main objective of society was to breed and cultivate the perfect warrior. Achilles was the perfect example of this, but instead of getting support from his superiors, his woman was taken by one of them. Extreme under appreciation begets rage.
My focus is on the lack of support for our modern day warriors, not the snatched booty. Our service men & women, and our first responders, have to go through life and death circumstances; and have to process the fact that their job not only exposes them to the horrific depths of darkness that lurk in the haunted shadows of civilization…but that their job could kill them.
I honestly wish that each and every one could be immortalized as the fictional character Achilles is, but society has changed. The need for warriors is greater, but support is all but nothing.
Soldiers die, and their names are engraved in a monument, which after a few years will be less about the willing sacrifice of lives, and more about the evils of war and those who orchestrate it. A police officer is killed in the line of duty, and there is a sickening percentage of people that are happy with the thought of one less “pig” on the streets.
In these modern times, our priorities are devolving. To those anarchists, to anyone who refuses to support our troops because you don’t support war, I have a challenge…
Sit in a quiet room, no NPR in the background…incense are fine if they help you focus, and leave your utopian expectations on the other side of the door.
Now, imagine a world without warriors. No soldiers, no police, no fire fighters, no paramedics. No body who would dare sacrifice their life for something greater than themselves. Notice, I didn’t say a world without war, because the need to fight is in our basic human chemistry. So even if there was no warrior spirit in the world, well then, everyone would have to fight their own battles. That sounds so much more civilized than supporting those that would voluntarily clean up the streets and fight for their country, doesn’t it?
Bottom line, support our 21st century warriors; because unlike Achilles, they don’t sit down and pout when those that should be lifting them up let them drop down to the hard ground after all their effort.