All of us here at MOTW have known each other for a good while. Many have been in contact with the others for nearly two decades, in fact. While we are spread across the world, we have even begun getting together, along with some other like-minded friends, at least once per year. We have smaller gatherings, when possible, amongst those who live in fairly close proximity to one another. Discussions often turn to past interactions, and those who were once part of our group, but have passed on from this life. In fact, these are some of the best memories of those gatherings, as we remind each other of friends we have lost, but also the good times we enjoyed together.
And that is important. In an earlier post, I pointed out the importance of knowing your ancestry, as that genetical heritage is a huge part of who you are. I have also written about preparing your sons for the battles that lie ahead, perhaps after you are gone. And all of these things are tied together.
John Donne made the observation:
No man is an island entire of itself; every man
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe
is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as
well as any manner of thy friends or of thine
own were; any man’s death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore never send to know for whom
the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.
Without a doubt, we are in this with others. None of us is an island – at least not if we want to make a difference. We were formed from our genetic forebears, forged through our experiences, and fitted into a group of like-minded men (and women) to fight this fight.
It is easy to get caught up in the minutiae of life. Details obscure the larger picture and we risk becoming myopic, if we try to go it alone.
Ah, but in a group of hardy folk, things are different. We see one another getting off task, and we admonish and cajole the wayward man. We see a weakness and we work together to overcome it. We encourage one another in hard times. We pray for each other every day. And in this way, man sharpens man, just as iron sharpens iron (Proverbs 27:17). And we build shared experiences and memories.
So what does my opening passage about reminiscing have to do with that? Everything. We Men of the West are struggling against the enemies of Western Civilization. But we have not been the only ones in this fight. There are others that were part of us, and it does us good to remember them and their sacrifices. We realize that they offered something to us in life – their knowledge, wisdom, and strength – but they also offer us something in death. They give us memories of what relationships should be like, and how one can still have an impact after he is gone. We should strive to do the same, so that someday, after our earthly struggle is over, others will take time, every now and then, to remember us and what we said and did, and how important we were to the others and their struggles.
There is a reason that we still look back at the efforts of George Washington, Robert E. Lee, Jan Sobieski, Charles Martel, and others. They offered something of value to the world, and are remembered for it. Certainly, none of us expects to be remembered in that same way, but we can be an inspiration to those we know and work with. And those stories are the way we honor them.
Plus, it is just fun to remember good times. It is a nice respite from the constant battles we are dealing with now.
So take the time, once in awhile, to share stories about the good times you have shared with others, both those still here and those already gone. And know, above all else, that you did the best you could with the gifts that God has blessed you with. That is something to be remembered and cherished.