You will find peace not by trying to escape your problems, but by confronting them courageously. You will find peace not in denial, but in victory.
Si vis pacem, para bellum – a Latin adage roughly translated as “If you want peace, prepare for war.”
A common interpretation of the phrase is quite simply; instilling peace through strength.
If we look through historically strong empires and present-day military forces – a strong and effective society is less likely to be invaded by its enemies. Thus, peace is achieved, not simply willed into existence – it is earned through a dedication to strength and excellence.
We now even see companies such as Sheepdog Response championing the concept down to a personal level; making ones’ home and self a hard target, taking ourselves and families as our empires that must be protected. A small addition of beware of the dog signs, surveillance cameras and so forth are initial tactics to decrease the chance of a break in as an example. Couple this with a person skilled in unarmed combat and conflict management – and we see the concept employed across the spectrum from a single person all the way up to countries, empires and civilisations. Peace, earned through a dedication to excellence, strength in all avenues and the relentless pursuit of victory.
Without becoming too accusatory it’s probably fair to say we are living in a time of significantly higher levels of entitlement. I mean that not in a material way, but almost intangibly mental and emotional. In the fitness industry for example, we see the biggest figures grow as false prophets offering short cuts and life hacks to results generally earned through consistent dedication to the struggle. An approach that gets you the end result whilst bypassing the journey. We live in an age where the significance of the struggle is left by the wayside – the reward the ultimate prize. Yet, what is the ending without the journey to it? The two are intrinsically linked, perfectly balanced. One offering a light to work toward, the other allowing it to shine. What is victory that is not earned?
We must learn the beauty in struggle. The power of overcoming adversity and standing tall, true Sigr found when traversing an engulfing darkness. This entitlement is dangerous because it removes meaning. We strip away the significance by taking the easy route. Have you ever been moved by a film or tv show? If so, I guarantee the moment was earned through a passage of time with the characters or in the universe. One must be invested in the process to truly reap the reward. Destroy the process and your reward means nothing.
“Life is essentially a cheat and its conditions are those of defeat; the redeeming things are not happiness and pleasure but the deeper satisfactions that come out of struggle.
– F.SCOTT FITZGERALD
Take this concept now in the direction of emotion and inner happiness. I do believe that every single person deserves to be happy, the problem lies in what we derive from the word “deserve”. You deserve to be happy, but you are not owed happiness. Your happy ending is not your divine right – in the same way if you believe in the concept of destiny, or finding your true calling, that one thing you were born to do – there’s a caveat to it. Your destiny is yours to lose. Replace hard work and dedication with expectation and assumption and watch your destiny fade into nothingness.
We all want a fulfilling existence, a happy ending, a purpose. Yet, we have a wide array of voices that have a mantra of expectation. Everything is centred on the self and comfort. Sleeping in, mimosas on a Sunday (I have no idea what a mimosa is, I can only assume it’s a large old ship) and burning bridges with anyone who challenges our stances or thoughts on anything. We want good vibes only and we want to live our best lives and we’ll consider this to be a stance of positivity and the path to fulfillment.
We are ready to embrace the ending – not the saga.
Believe in the struggle. Embrace the journey. Life is not simply the destination and if we expect to merely arrive there, the peace we strive for will not be there waiting for us. True peace in oneself is somewhere we all need to get to, and by getting there is how that state of mind is forged and ultimately enjoyed. Sigr without saga is quite simply inconsequential. If we are exposed to harsh times and adversity – manifested in physical and mental forms – we adapt. By surviving, we get stronger. We are capable of greater adversity, greater darkness. We continue our sagas with a stoic resolve. We will not be lost in the storm. We will prevail.
Stronger. Always stronger.
This is the mindset we strive for. We do not shy away from the challenge. We do not stick to the path of least resistance. We do not wait for the good times to come for us – we are in relentless pursuit. We take to the Vættfang in whatever form it takes; defiant. Our saga is what will define our Sigr.
We go to war – and we earn our peace.
For The Pack,
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