The knights of old are somewhat mythical, but these new knights are real and are embodying the spirit of the ancient model of the knight paladin, the champion of the weak and the oppressed, dedicated to righteousness and justice.1
He is the one running toward the gunfire.
There are only two types of people once the bullets begin to fly: warriors and victims, those who fight and those who are unprepared, unable or unwilling to defend themselves.2
…police officers and soldiers move toward the Universal Human Phobia [interpersonal human aggression], intentionally moving into this domain where other human beings will try to hurt or kill them…3All this continual running toward interpersonal aggression is stressful. Stress is profoundly deleterious, whether it derives from the streets of America, the field of combat in a foreign land, or from within a law enforcement or military organization itself. Stress creates a toxic environment that eats at the fabric of human psychological and emotional stability.
A career of swimming in the toxic pool takes its effect, and the Paladin needs to continually ground himself in the knowledge that he is an indispensable person in the community of humans. These words by John R. Thomas (1949-2003), Chicago Police First Deputy Superintendent, are comforting to a wounded soul.
When you begin to doubt the nobility of your mission or the sanctity of your profession because your heart is heavy, or you feel anger, disillusionment, disenfranchisement, betrayed, or confused - Stop and listen to the voices...the voices that rise up from...a field in Pennsylvania, from a wall at the Pentagon and from the spot of the Earth the world has come to know as Ground Zero. Because if you listen, you will hear those souls tell you "Thank You" for what you do...hear them cheering you on. Let them carry you through this difficult moment, allow them to nourish you and encourage you-and doubt no more-for you are warriors and champions for those who have gone before and to those most vulnerable now. You are admired and respected, for you are the best at what you do. God bless you and God bless America.4
And, listen to the voices from: the battered and broken; the raped; the lost child’s mother; the infant not breathing; and the knifed and shot body bleeding.
And, listen to the voices of our Forefathers and their Warrior successors speaking to us from beyond the field of battle on which they died for the cause of freedom.
And, listen to the voices the world-over from those who died at the hands of tyrants.
Soldier or law enforcement officer, no matter whether you are called Paladin, Warrior, or Sheepdog, you pay a personal price for your place in life. Thank You!
Links in this Blog:
1. On Combat, Lt. Col. Dave Grossman with Loren W. Christensen, PPCT Research Publications, 2007, 2nd edition, pg. xxii
2. Ibid at xix
3. Ibid at 4
4. Ibid at 7 & John R. Thomas, Chicago Police Department