Accepting Defeat

Got this from an Urban Samurai member named Josh. I think it is incredibly smart. I do not know everything. And I learn from you guys all the time. This email I received a few days ago is additional evidence of that.

I took out a sentence or two in an attempt to shorten it, but it’s really difficult to do that to someone else’s words. So this is mostly intact. I know this is complimentary to me and my writing. That’s not why I’m posting it. If you read this, I believe you will understand.

Hello again,

My name is Josh. I wish you to know that I am an avid follower of your journey, and on a journey of my own.

I read nearly everything you share, and while they are all worth reading, some speak to me more particularly than others, as would be expected. That being said, if you’ll humor me, I’d like to communicate two things with you:

The first is that I truly enjoyed your latest share; “The World is Not Your Oyster”. It is a harsh truth you have spoken, but one that needs to be said, and one I subscribe to. In addition to more “traditional” eastern philosophy, I also consider myself to be a student of philosophy as a whole, and this last post really reminded me of the western post-modern thought of existentialism; not in the regards of “God is dead” or even nihilism, but more the very liberating idea of the whole principle. The idea that you are not entitled to anything. Some things will be given to you, some will not… but purpose, real personal accomplishment, those things must be earned. The world will not provide for you that purpose and fulfillment, you must fight for it and decide it for yourself, and in doing so you find your truth and give your own life meaning. That is what your post reminded me of. Many modern people find this to be a fatalistic and depressing view, but I do not, and I feel you do not, either. In fact, I find it liberating. The opportunity for strife, to test myself, to push myself to my limits and see what I’m made of, that I make my own purpose and meaning in life…that to me is the most liberating thing I can think of. Choice, and the opportunity to fight for what I believe and hold meaningful. The chance to walk my path. The struggle that makes me strong. So, thanks for saying what you did, what you must. I respect that. I hope that others find liberation in these ideas as well, and through the hard truth see the opportunity there.

The second relates to that, loosely. I believe people have to walk their own path and find what is true for them, their own purpose. Sometimes that runs parallel, or even with others. Many times it does not, especially with views like those of myself and Urban Samurai that are much less prevalent in modernity and western culture. With that in mind, it is only to be expected that one will face dissension, and not only that, but it IS the internet, which means people who promote contempt and disagreement out of principle. I’ve seen that a fair amount on your posts, and I respect you for not letting that dissension stop you and your message, your journey.

That being said, there was something I disagreed with, or perhaps did not understand completely on one of your previous posts. I certainly saw the validity of your point, and I do not seek to change it; simply to share my views on it as you share yours with us. Forgive me for not remembering exactly which post it was, but it related specifically to not accepting defeat. In it, you said that being satisfied with trying was not enough, that fighting for it, subsequently losing, and accepting the loss was not enough; you must refuse to accept defeat. Again, a very valid point, and to a major extent one to which I agree with. And I think I understood what you were trying to say.

But again, I would like to share my view on this point, because it is one important to me. Not to change your point in any way, not to say you are wrong, but simply a sharing of understanding between a fellow warrior walking his path. My point is this; no one is perfect. No one is flawless. As you have said in this last post, sometimes you will lose, you will be passed over, you won’t get what you “deserve”. And while I certainly agree that one should not simply throw down in defeat and complacency, my overall view is similar to that of Nietzsche’s Heroic…that the greatest purpose
in life is to perish in pursuit of the great and the impossible. That I aim high, I fight hard, I give and live my own purpose, I take the journey not as a means to an end, but as an end itself, and I give it everything I have. And when I eventually fall, when I am bested, I do not feel bitterness and defeat, I will not think “I could have done better”, because I give it all I have, and there is nothing to regret about that. I see no shame in being bested when you’ve put your all into it. I see no reason NOT to accept that defeat, because it is not defeat. A warrior is judged not just by himself, but also by the strength of his enemies, and if I have put my whole soul into something and still have been fairly bested, it is an honorable defeat at the hands of a worthy opponent who does honor to me as well. I am satisfied to give my life and my journey and all the little things that comprise it everything I have, and if I fail at a task, if I am
bested, I am satisfied to know that it was not because of a failing to give it what I had to give. Sometimes that is not enough, but to fall in pursuit of it is a glory I am satisfied to claim. That does not sound like defeat to me, that sounds like victory; that sounds like fulfillment. To end without regret, without having held back. So yes, I agree with you, do not accept defeat, because that indicates you can do better, that indicates you must keep pushing forward and fuel yourself, and not accept complacency.

But I do not think every beating is defeat, I do not think every setback is a failing. I think you define your own victory. And I find no dishonor in perishing in pursuit of my dreams.

Thank you for reading this, for sharing all that you do, and for your own wisdom and truth. I have the greatest respect for you, and while no one will agree on everything, I hold your truths in the highest genuine regard. I wish you strength and honor, and hope that we will share further discussions in the future.