There’s a spark within every man. In some, this spark is given kindling, and it grows into a fire. The fire that burns bright, it rages, it dissipates, it’s stomped out at times, but it’s there. In others, that spark is never fed. The fire never rages. Life never gets the passion or the meaning that it had the ability to see.
Within each man there is a coward and a warrior. A version of the Self that hides, withers, quits, and worries. Then the version of the Self that stands strong, moves forward, faces fears, and persists. The warrior or the coward can come about out of choice, necessity, even how we’re raised. We can choose which we’re going to be, and which we’re going to push down and suffocate.
The warrior feeds the fire in his belly. He surrounds himself with dried wood that brings his ambition, passion, and purpose into an uncontrolled blaze. He attacks life. He lunges at his fears. He always lifts others up with him.
The coward ignores the kindling. He stays away from the dried wood that would turn his spark into a fire, his fire into a blaze. He tries to put out his spark with water. He dampens his environment, his mind, and his heart with worry and fear, repellants of his fire, quelling his ambition and his manhood.
How we’re raised has its hand in whether we’re going to be a coward or a warrior. Circumstances we’re born in to and can’t control will have a part in shaping who we are, and what we do with our spark. In the end, however, the choice is ours. The warrior isn’t born a warrior. He chooses to act like one once, which leads to acting like one once again. He does this until he knows no other way to act.
He fights when others flea, not because his fire or environment were born bigger and better, but because he’s built the habit of fighting. His fire has been fed so often that he has no other choice. To act as a coward would be to oppose who he is. It would tear him from his spirit. He can’t let this happen.
The coward feels his spark, he’s aware of the choices he’s making. Sometimes, he gives in to laziness and fear by rationalization. He’ll stand and fight next time. He’ll hustle when the opportunity arrises again – if it ever does. To do so now is inconvenient. The stars haven’t aligned, the time isn’t perfect, there are other things that need to be done first before he can start feeding his fire.
Then, one day, he wakes up with the realization that his spark is gone. His passion, desire, and ambition haven’t been fed. His fears haven’t been faced. He’s done. He is forever a coward – a man in the flesh, but not in the spirit.
The spark that we all have within, that flicker that can be ignited into full-fledged passion and unbridled ambition, needs to be fed. It needs oxygen, kindling, wood. Heck, it needs gasoline. It needs to be fed daily with thought and purposeful action.