The primitive and often even atavistic aspects of the battlefield test the physical and mental agility of everyone, but most of what it tests is the courage and the spiritual side of the troops we put in harm’s way. And oftentimes it’s only unit cohesion, leadership and the belief in themselves and their comrades that allows them to go through what they have to go through and come home as better men and women, not as broken. And so the Warrior Ethos is not a luxury, it is essential when you have a military.
Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them.
Has joy any survival value in the operations of evolution? I suspect that it does; I suspect that the morose and fearful are doomed to quick extinction. Where there is no joy there can be no courage; and without courage all other virtues are useless.
Go for broke. Always try and do too much. Dispense with safety nets. Take a deep breath before you begin talking. Aim for the stars. Keep grinning. Be bloody-minded. Argue with the world. And never forget that writing is as close as we get to keeping a hold on the thousand and one things–childhood, certainties, cities, doubts, dreams, instants, phrases, parents, loves–that go on slipping , like sand, through our fingers.
I want to go on living even after my death! And therefore I am grateful to God for giving me this gift, this possibility of developing my-self and of writing, of expressing all that is in me. I can shake off everything if I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.
The path we have chosen for the present is full of hazards, as all paths are — but it is the one most consistent with our character and courage as a nation and our commitments around the world. The cost of freedom is always high — and Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose, and that is the path of surrender or submission.
Throughout the ages, leadership and courage have often been synonymous. Ultimately, leadership requires action: daring to take steps that are necessary but unpopular, challenging the status quo in order to reach a brighter future.