Let me preface this article with the fact that I am not in the military, I am simply someone who admires the hardships, the character, the downright badassery they exhibit on a daily basis. Training in the worst conditions with a smile and asking for more.
Being faced with horrific situations, offering up their own lives to save those that fight beside them, those that live at home, and even those that are the innocents of the country they are fighting in. They are the embodiment of humility, self-effacement as well as the picture of stoicism.
Those that have been steeped in combat have an entirely different look at the world. They have viewed some of the worst behavior human beings are capable of. Witness to some of the best of human behavior as well. They have seen the full spectrum of what the human animal is actually capable of.
From the acts of taking life to the acts of protecting life. The emotions, the orders, the brother/sisterhood, The anger, the camaraderie, the hatred, the love, the passion, the contempt all of these things I would imagine are only a glimpse at the feelings a soldier may feel in the crucible of combat.
I personally thank every serviceman and woman. Your service has secured mine and everyone on this side of the planets livelihood. Without your service, I would not have the opportunities I do today.
Living Life To The Fullest
That brings me to what this article is really about…. Squandering the life you are afforded, taking advantage of the opportunities you have been given.
This goes for every single person. You are capable of so much more than you are accomplishing right now. You could be an overachiever and do amazing things. It does not matter; if you were pressed I bet you could squeeze out a little bit more.
I am by no means writing this as some form of chastisement or self-aggrandizement of my own story. By no means is that true. What is true is that I could definitely be taking my own life to the next level and maybe at some level, this article is meant as a kick in my own ass to get going on my potential and stop a wasteful way living.
Using the tools you have been given or developed in your life to the betterment of mankind has to be the pinnacle of accomplishment. Being able to help even one person through your purpose of vocation is a beautiful thing. It can be as simple as a haircut or as complicated as the amnesty of fellow countrymen. It does not matter. What does matter is that you GET AFTER IT!
Utilize the darkness
Those that came before us have seen pure evil, those that we walk alongside today have seen darkness as well. This world we live in is filled with the worst things imaginable. There are valuable lessons to be learned from the darkness, however. The darkness is the best way to contrast the light. The best way to truly see the greatness of your current circumstances. It is the way to appreciate the gifts you have been given. Take a deep look at the hardship others have endured only to come out on the other side stronger, better people, those that have faced pure evil only to wade through those murky waters only to come out stronger, to come out with lessons that can be taught.
These stories are the ones we should learn the most from, Holocaust survivors, those who survived the massacre of Nanking, those that face the absolute worst of the human race can hand out and utilize those experiences to teach us, things that are so far outside our realm of imagination.
Peering into the darkness is healthy for us. Testing your resolve and your ability to take on deep, meaningful challenges. Can you make it through some of the worst atrocities ever to be seen? If not that is fine not everyone has to ability to do so. Can you take that and use it in your daily life? Can you gain gratitude? Be thankful that you have your comfy bed, your fancy tv, your warm food in your belly? You better!
I believe taking a look into the darkest parts of the human experience only grows your appreciation for the greatest and brightest parts of our human experience. I recently read a quote (in which I cannot name at this point in time) “You must know the darkness, to fully see the light all around us.” Everyone has had their own challenges and hardships, and at the risk of sounding like a broken record you need those experiences to appreciate where it is you truly stand in this world. To really see that what you are going through is microscopic in comparison to others.
Appreciate the light
If there is one thing that darkness will do is increase the brightness of the brighter things in life. Your family will begin to be more pleasant to be around, your food will taste better, and your life will simply just seem to be better in general.
You can imagine that these niceties of life would cease to exist if the said darkness had consumed you or if it was actually real. It may just make you love stronger, and hug longer!
Being humble enough to take advantage of your current circumstances are only going to increase your potential. The darkness can serve as a great motivator, more so than anything the light can do.
Get a better perspective!
It is easy enough to refer to these things as light, and dark but the truth of the matter is that they are real. Life is a mix of the greatest and the worst things in life. Taking an in-depth look into the history of our species will only show that we can be the greatest thing for this planet but also (exponentially so) the biggest detriment to this pale blue dot we live on.
Take advantage of your newly gained perspective and use it to create, learn, and teach. Give life the respect it deserves and gives you the respect you deserve and bring you vocation and purpose to its full potential!