Monday, December 7, 2009

Moments of Performance – “The Rules Do Not Apply”

“Pretty girl, young man, old man, man with a gun; two people in love; the rules do not apply (to people in love).”[1]

There’s something about the crack armed forces regiments like the Special Air Service, the Marines, and the Red and Green Berets (a.k.a. Special Forces) that inspires us in considering their legendary superhuman feats of bravery and achievement. They enshrine a mystery of purpose and the rules of engagement are so covert they don’t ordinarily break through our consciousness, until conflict or war occurs.

War is the everyday reality of the elite Special Forces soldier. Their whole job, indeed their entire lives are about being battle-ready. That is why they exist—to do whatever is required to defend the country they serve, to the death if necessary.

Their preparation for the unexpected runs to the word, “capability.” Tactically, technically and procedurally they’re versed, practiced and in-tune to respond the same way every single time, given allowance for discretionary leadership and the covert tactics implicit of the role.

When we go to war the rules that would normally apply go out the window. Peacetime and wartime rules and bases for living are counter-operative. The importance of the objective is so critical it shifts the focus distinctly—a different reality is suddenly realised and therefore known.

Be these things as they may, we too are in common warfare. Much like the Special Forces soldier, we exist in a threatening, though seemingly docile, environment. We’ve even been under attack all our lives yet we’re usually so oblivious to the facts.

We war with the prince of this world, our own souls, the world’s systems and the selfishness of others. Conflict is our reality, every day, in almost every situation—yet we battle or we’re ambushed, we win or lose, fighting another time; another day—every day.

And how prepared are we? Do we train our minds and hearts like these elite soldiers train their minds and bodies? The answer is we should. The existence of our souls and the souls of our families—unto our society—depend on it. Life in this world is common warfare. The rules of engagement are subliminal.

© S. J. Wickham, 2009.

[1] Excerpt from Jerry Harrison’s, Man With A Gun song.

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