The warrior mentality.
Some people think that the only ones that can claim the title of warrior is someone who actually fights in war. For example: soldiers.
I think this is a flawed mentality because we live in modern times where wars are less rampant. (I am speaking as an American here. I realize there are still backwards countries out there where this is not the case. However, I feel that the world in general is moving towards the idea that conflict is best resolved with words. In either case, I am speaking here for my own country and way of living.)
We can have a warrior in peace time and still be a warrior, even if that peace time lasts all of a lifetime. You don't physically have to be fighting regularly in order to be considered a warrior. A martial artist can be considered a warrior. A person who fights for causes they believe in is a warrior. Someone who protects other people.
This is just one of those topics that pushes people's buttons. Some feel that this warrior mentality is over-saturated in Heathenry. Suddenly everybody's a warrior. This idea that most Vikings were considered warriors whether they were the farmers, or the ones going out to fight. That is of couse some revisionist hogwash but i think we can see how anyone in the village needed to be ready to defend their homestead at a moments notice.
In our first world little countries, this is not needed. (Thank the gods). But does this mean that warriors are not needed? Or can we update the definition?
I'm a woman and I still consider myself a warrior. I am a martial artist. Currently working on my 2nd Degree Black belt in Taekwondo. Once upon a time I was a Top Ten Competitor. Just because I enjoy a good fight, doesn't mean that's where my personality stops. I also knit. I also cook for my children. I grow food. I have livestock. All these things make me a caretaker too but they don't detract from the fact that I am a warrior.
Now granted the only real fight I've ever been in was to defend my husband once when we were attacked by a group of teenagers. They were harassing the elderly drivers along the street we lived on and as we passed by them, they hit the back of our car. My husband got out to check to make sure he didn't hit anybody. They attacked him and the two of us fought off five of these "kids" between ages 18 and 21.
That is probably the only time I've ever thrown a punch at anybody intending harm. I've never thrown the first punch but I always finish it.
My definition of a Warrior is someone who at a moments notice can and will use a weapon, whether it be via written word, a gun, a sword, or their fists, and use it in defense of others and their community and family.
That is a warrior.
I'd like to differentiate this word with another overused and ridiculously euphemized word: hero
A hero is a warrior. A warrior is not necessarily a hero. A Hero is someone, who despite the fact that it might kill them, still manages to go and defend the helpless regularly. Not just for themselves, their family and their community, but anyone who who needs them.
I would consider most police officers and firefighters heroes. (It can be argued that it's their job... but really who would chose this job, if they didn't want to protect people?)
All soldiers are warriors, but not all soldiers could be considered heroes.
A football player might be a role model but not a hero. A famous person, again role model but not necessarily a hero. This is one of my biggest pet peeves.
I'd like to think I could be a hero given the opportunity. We will see how that goes.