I am reminded of how a bit of early life experience can change a boy into a man, every time when Remembrance Day comes up and I see pictures of my mom’s brother, the one who enlisted for combat underage and ended up getting shot down over Germany one year out of his teens.
I think his course of action is what we call manning up. It involves a sober choice in the face of a wrong, to do something to make it right. Things change once opinions evolve into solid action. It’s the fact of choosing that changes you, as Kierkegaard wisely noted. Real action is the world where people grow up, whereas the world of fence sitters tends to be populated with children.
Real action however, has taken a back seat nowadays. It has been substituted with something called getting ‘woke’ - except that getting woke does not really do anything at all. It requires you only to ‘like’ different causes via Twitter or Facebook. ‘Woke’ people generally feel superior. They can also throw around some fairly nasty words when referring to straight white men over fifty. It is likely that those who consider themselves ‘woke’ are living rent-free in their parents basements and would be panicked if they actually had to back up their lofty opinions with a bit of solid action.
Woke is a presumptuous thing. It dons a mantle that has not been earned, and worse, it celebrates ingratitude. Woke people have not yet realized that they have a debt to pay that is presently being shouldered by the world of adults. They have not yet burned off the dross of childhood. Perhaps they will become truly woke when they come to think better of the things they have hitherto scoffed at.
My observation in the end, is that the battle for goodness is rarely won in a state of passivity. A boy becomes a man, when he recognizes there are things worthy of preservation, and values them enough to take a stand. Men who have grown up guard the perimeters of culture and civilization just like Jack Donovan has declared. To deny there is an ongoing struggle between good and evil is to be blind. To maintain indifference is the careless sin of children.
All of this makes me think of a quote from Pulp Fiction. It’s not really in the Bible, but it is almost good enough that it should be. It sounds like something a prophet might say, observing a generation of the uninitiated.
“The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness. For he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children.”
Society is trying to deal with a whole generation of lost children. May they get truly ‘woke’, and the sooner the better. There’s a world out there to run.