What Makes and Defines the Warrior?

SoldiersCredit: wikimedia

Recently I had a debate online with a friend of mine. He claimed he was a warrior of modern times, having to protect the ungrateful around him. I called him on it, telling him he did not know what we was talking about. I had met real life warriors; marines, navy seals, even a general, their presence defines warrior, he did not have that effect. He countered explaining a warrior is a person with a struggle and fight to overcome it. Effectively anyone who faces and overcomes struggle is a warrior and people who choose not to fight play the victim. The debate made me reconsider the meaning more deeply and look into what makes people warriors. The answer surprised me!


According to the merriam-webster.com/dictionary/warrior:

"warrior: a man engaged or experience in warfare; broadly; a person engaged in some struggle or conflict"[2]

The definition surprised me because it was a little vague in a specific example. There is clear line between civilians and warriors. Often soldiers used as a common synonym as well as marines, rangers, legions, and any other combat or military reference to warriors. I agree that every soldier is a warrior, but they are not the sole example. The definition states that anyone with a struggle or conflict and shows great skill in said conflict could be considered a warrior. Police, firemen, doctors, parents, athletes all train, learn, prepare and face their own struggles everyday.

A Rainbow of Warriors

One of my best friends is a marine tasked as an LAV driver, now in command of his own division. He has been on tour and served proudly for his family and friends. When war comes he transports and supports his brothers, and is willing to fight the enemy to the death for his country and comrades. He is my definition of a warrior for that situation. However after doing this research I see warriors all around me everyday. My mother keeping mental patients in check working 12 hour shifts at the hospital and my dad pushing through another multimillion deal for his company that works him 70 hour weeks. A warrior is someone faced with struggle and is willing to fight and improve until they can overcome it. This applies to everyone and their willingness to fight through challenges. Strengths, skills, knowledge and training help overcome challenges but mean nothing without the mindset to face them.

 “Whatever you are physically...male or female, strong or weak, ill or healthy--all those things matter less than what your heart contains. If you have the soul of a warrior, you are a warrior. All those other things, they are the glass that contains the lamp, but you are the light inside.” 

― Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Angel [1]

Police dogsCredit: WikimediaMen working in fieldCredit: WikimediaWorking in factoryCredit: Wikimedia SurgeonCredit: wikimedia


Basketball Soccer, and Martial Arts were my main physical activities through school. All these activities used warrior to describe the players and competitors during practices and games. Couches and instructors have a way of speaking the word in such a way that makes teams feel powerful, UNBEATABLE. There were times that it worked and fired up the team to win. However, I have never considered myself a warrior like William Wallace or Luke Skywalker. Epic quests and sword fights do not describe the struggles that I have overcome. That is because they are a different type of warrior then myself. Everyone has their own struggles to face and their own set of skills to overcome such challenges. That does not make them any less of a warrior, it simply makes them a different class of warrior. Professional and Olympic athletes train every single day to perfect their skills to compete. A boss has to take charge and know each member of his team, the limits they can take and results they can deliver to do a satisfactory job. Surgeons study for years fighting against disease and failing bodies helping hundreds of people to get better. All warriors just different skill sets for different struggles.

What it takes and what you start to see!

The people who fight and face problems head on. They defend their beliefs, homes, family, and friends everyday without question, these people are warriors. The people who ignore problems and refuse to overcome struggle are the victims who stand by content to let unsatisfactory circumstances continue unabated. But everyone has potential for the mantle, we each have overcome some struggle in our life. Something thought to hard until we took action and proved to everyone including ourselves that we can fight and we can win. What type of warrior are you? What is your struggle; job, a record, state championship it does not matter so long as overcoming it is what you fight to do. Failure is hard and inevitable but unavoidable to a warrior. We fail then we learn and use it to overcome. Some choose the path of taking the failure as a justification to stay placid and confirmation that trying leads to failure. The woman/man who see it as a challenge and continue to fight and never stop trying, they embody overcoming adversity. Consider what the people around you and what they have overcome, it is humbling when a person considers what the people around them have achieved. After reading reflect on what they have done and you will be surprised at the number of warrior surrounding you.