I am convinced that we all need something to fight for. It seems to be built into us. We need a cause. We need to protect others. We need adventure. We need danger.
Human beings are at their very best when we are putting this innate courage into action in the right way. The most celebrated people in our society are those who sacrifice to save or protect others, those who stand against injustice, and those who overcome amazing odds. Stories of these people inspire us and cause us to imagine ways that we could create a courageous story for ourselves.
While I believe that every person needs something to fight for, I also believe that most of us do not have much in our lives worth fighting for. “Most men live lives of quiet desperation.” And it drives us crazy.
Our lives are so comfortable and so easy. How many of us have ever truly had to suffer or struggle to survive? How many of us have ever put ourselves in harm’s way for the sake of another? When have we ever stood up against extreme adversity?
We drive our comfortable cars to a climate controlled building where we do a day’s work and then have a comfortable sum of money direct deposited out into our bank account. We drive our comfortable car home to a refrigerator full of food, a cozy couch, and a big TV. We satisfy some of our need for adventure by playing a computer game, watching a movie, or gossiping online before retiring to our pillow-top mattress.
We have done our very best to sand away the danger, adventure, and risk in our personal lives, but deep down there is still the need. We still have a need to fight.
When we cannot satisfy that deep need by protecting loved ones, standing up for what is right, or pioneering into new worlds, we direct our fight at trivia, minutia, and stupidity.
Anger flares when someone cuts you off in traffic. You shoot dirty looks at the barista when she is out of grande cups. You yell obscenities when the shirt you wanted to wear is dirty. You cry when the new car gets scratched. You throw things when you don’t get your way.
Anger is so often a frustrated need for adventure, danger, and something real to fight for.
I want to challenge you. Look for something worth fighting for. When you find yourself getting angry over stupid things, consider the perpetual injustice in this nation, look at the plight of the poor around the world, see the need around you.
Find something to fight for.