- heroic courage when facing tough decisions
“Fortune favors the bold” – Ancient Roman Proverb
For the Parent::Battle Cry
I was having one of those weeks. You know the ones; those weeks full of late nights, rapidly approaching deadlines and probably far too much caffeine. One of those weeks where nothing goes according to plan and you lie awake at night wondering how you are ever going to accomplish everything that needs to be done. A quiet uncertainty began to grow inside my mind. As much as we like to pretend that we are in complete control of our lives, it simply isn’t true. We cannot change uncertainty into certainty by sheer force of will. I either had to face this growing uncertainty with determination and courage, or simply give in to anxiety. Then I had a revelation - we cannot show valor when the outcome is certain. Where’s the courage in that? The time and place for valor is when the path is unclear and the future unsure.
For Your Son::Call to Arms
Not many men in history are known more for their valor than the knights of old. In all the legends, the brave knight goes off to face what seems to be certain death. Whether he’s fighting countless warriors, or facing a fire-breathing dragon, he bravely puts on his armor and rides into battle anyway. Now imagine that instead of riding into battle to fight a dragon, he’s riding into battle to fight a flock of sheep. Silly, right? Of course it is! It’s silly because a trained knight isn’t going to be defeated by a few barnyard animals. The battle no longer requires valor from the knight because he knows that he’s sure to win.
Valor is not a trait the Warrior Poet calls upon when things are easy or certain. Valor is for when things are uncertain. When you’re studying for a test that you know will be really hard; valor is choosing to keep studying rather than giving up. Valor is giving your best effort when the odds are against you and it’s easier to quit. Valor is playing your heart out, even when your team is facing the defending champs and nobody thinks you can win. Valor is getting back up and brushing yourself off, even if there’s a chance you’ll be knocked back down. When faced with a challenge, your only choices are to push forward or give up. Never let the uncertainty of the future keep you from being your best! That’s what it means to be a Warrior Poet.
Talk to your Warrior Poet about this lesson sometime during the weekend. Ask him if there are any instances in the past where he’s felt uncertain about the future. This could be anxiety about an upcoming test, a tryout, an audition, etc. Remind him that when he’s faced with uncertainty, the only options are to courageously push through it or to give up – and giving up is counterproductive. Afterwards, sit down together and come up with a plan to handle the situation next time he feels overwhelmed.