Sunday, January 27, 2008

With Your Shield - or On it!!!

Yup! I saw it and I loved it! Zack Snyder's movie 300 - Aand it may be a lil too late to write a blog on it, but this thing has been bugging my head ever since.

There is a concept from the movie that fascinated me ........ Sparta as a city had its own unique method to imbibe courage. I have seen it in nature ...... and I suspect that the working principles behind the concept have its roots in nature itself.

The concept is that of "forced fight" ..... in essence it means, putting someone into situations where one is left with no choice but to fight ... its hard at first ...... but after a while, the results are unmistakable.

Let me start with a few analogies from nature where this occurs. Imagine a bird chicken ... just barely able to stand and flap its wings ... the whole existence of a bird is to be able to fly ... But when the wings are yet untested .... how does the bird gather courage to leap into the open .... with nothing but just the trust on ones instincts .... I've seen a baby bird walk in indecision on a branch ... and then leap with decision ... flapping its wings wildly .... striving with its life to make it through. When penguins jump into ice water the first time, they have never been taught how to swim - but they jump anyways - and trust - that some how they will make it ..... many of them don't ... there are seals and other faster predator lurking in the waters below ... hungry and waiting .... but despite the danger of the unknown, the penguins dig up the courage it takes for a virgin jump.

It was the same concept used in Sparta! From the time a boy was born he was constantly tested ... put into situations where he was forced to fight .... to hurt ...... to run ...... to evade ...... and if necessary even to kill! There was no room for the weak in Sparta! If a baby was born sickly looking .... it was discarded .... if the boy was too weak or incapable ..... he would never survive the Agoge!

The whole existence of a Spartan soldier was to be able to fight - and if needed sacrifice his life for the state ..... if a male couldn't do that .... he wasn't allowed to exist. And it worked too ..... even today ... Spartans are considered to be the finest warriors the world has ever seen. Absolute killing machines!

In Sparta! When a soldier went to war, it was customary for the wife to bid farewell with the words ...... " (Return) With your shield or on it! " Such was the extent to which Spartans were dedicated to war and fight that even the women were taught never to show any weakness when parting with a husband on the verge of death. For Spartans! once deployed, there was no choice but to win ..... or else to die in the effort.

It may sound harsh.. but when you look at it, it makes perfect sense. History never remembers the weak, nor does it ever consider excuses for loss. If you look at school textbooks and history documents from all over the world, no matter what the time .... they have always recorded success stories. At the end of the day, when all is said and done, in real life there IS no excuse, you either succeed or fail. No one gives a fuck - why you failed. And, thats the way it should be. If history started nurturing failure, the very ideals one holds himself to would be tainted .... mankind would go into an early grave.

So, my message from this blog is ..... give it a try! We don't live in pre-historic times where you can put on a shield and armor and go to battle. With advances in society, the battles have changed, today it is securing a new job, or advancing at your career place, or winning a football match ..... whatever your battle maybe... when you get up in the morning, get ready and are about to head out ..... as you look yourself in the mirror, tell yourself .... "SPARTAAAN! Come back with your shield ...... or ON it!"

No Excuses! I tell you ..... works like a charm! :)


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