Who and What is the Happy Warrior

The Happy Warrior is the title of a poem... and yes, I love this poem. I do not wish to be mischaracterized, for the most part poetry is not my bag. I am not an afficionado of literature nor am I a metro-sexual (I despise that term) but a dear friend introduced me to this masterpiece of prose several years ago... it has provided no end of inspiration. The Happy Warrior by William Wordsworth outlines the qualities of a magnificent soul. I aspire to possess even one or two characteristics that "every man in arms should wish to be."

This blog is a representation, in conversational form, of my voyage to wrap my arms around the world in which Mr. Worsdworth's warrior finds happiness.

(Standing disclaimer: Luckily tests of spelling accuracy ended in 4th grade otherwise I would still be in Elementary School. Be forewarned, spelling errors ahead. I subscribe to the wisdom of a great man who said, "I have utmost disdain for a man who can only spell a word one way." -Benjamin Franklin)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Shana Tova! And So It Begins

My inaugural blog entry coincidentally corresponds with Rosh Hashanah -some will consider this less than accidental. What a better way to introduce this blogging effort than with a minor conspiracy… I am not Jewish but I do have an inexplicable affinity to my Jewish cousins. This is a quirk that causes no end of consternation to Mrs. Wicke and causes many friends to roll their eyes and wonder just what drives Thomas. The question of “what is Thomas?” is a topic surely to be explored in future posts. For now, back to the topic at hand.

I am intrigued by the Jewish people and their rich legacy. While I am not from the family of Judah, my respect for the culture and contribution of Judah’s children is due to a not too distant relationship. I am a cousin who is always excited to reacquaint myself with family traditions lost long ago. One of these is the celebration of Rosh Hashanah. Rosh Hashanah marks the beginning of the Jewish New Year and is a time of reflection on the course and quality of ones life. It culminates in the most holy of Jewish holy days: Yom Kippur. It is a time to evaluate your standing before God and becomes a period for introspection and recommitment. Children of Judah, Benjamin or Ephraim could all certainly benefit from a celebration involving self-analysis and contemplation of the propriety of their path. This spiritual-mental exercise is not too different from core elements of Buddhism, Protestantism and Mormonism (as well as others not specifically named). In the name of full disclosure, I am a dedicated Mormon (which, to dispel any mischaracterization and misinterpretation, clearly means that I am Christian).

And so it begins. I have put off the blog craze since I am, by nature, a private and reserved person. This blog will reveal my observations, thoughts and ideas for public scrutiny and comment. I live my life in tireless pursuit of truth. I revel in the excitement of the learning environment. My hope is that by sharing my thoughts I may illicit reactions that will refine and sharpen my understanding of this world. My first law of learning is that we know, relatively, very little.

So here is my first observation, open for all the world (at least for Mrs. Wicke and a few others who may stumble on this and find it remotely interesting) to comment. In the spirit of Rosh Hashanah and the title of this blog (the happy warrior), here is a list I began years ago as I considered what it is to be “a great man”:

A Great Man:
-is one who pushes the bounds of his own intellect and capacity and recognizes his own divinity in the process
-is one who sees beyond himself to the larger family of mankind
-is on who realizes he is small enough not to matter but large enough to make a difference
-recognizes that laws of morality and self-control are the very keys to the door of freedom
-knows the power of the mind (and uses that power for good)
-when he knows more than any other, still considers/listens to the ideas of a fool and the uneducated
-knows the answer but lets the learning of others continue instead of elevating himself
-sees the character and not the color of man
-wishes that all others were great as well
-will always desire mercy instead of justice (but submits to just consequences)
-knows what he has said when he has said it and knows what he has said when he hasn't said anything
-decides based on right and wrong rather than profit and liability
-resorts to violence only when he wants his whole world to be consumed by it
-knows the destructive horror of hatred, violence and selfishness
-considers violence as dangerous as malaria
-chooses as his conscience directs not at his body screams to be satisfied
-exercises self-discipline in the moment of greatest desire, anger and hunger
-controls himself perfectly and avoids controlling others
-knows that consistent effort always supercedes periodic surges of magnificence
-excuses, extends mercy, and introspects before he condemns, penalizes, or blames.

-recognizes evil and confronts it
-knows that virtues and conditions exist that supercede his own life
-respects and protects womanhood in society at large, in his community, in his home and most fundamentally in his heart and mind

What am I missing, please add to my list.