The Modern Warrior

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Words: 1637 |

Pages: 4|

9 min read

Published: Apr 11, 2019

Words: 1637|Pages: 4|9 min read

Published: Apr 11, 2019

The spirit of a warrior is a spirit that transcends the trials and tribulations of life as we see it or as it occurs to us. The warrior spirit chooses and tries not to operate from default. Warrior spirit makes a path where there is no path and is not afraid to be wrong. As a warrior you learn to accept your downfalls and your victories with the same enthusiasm. As a warrior you learn to accept others for who they are, motivate them and choose to use their strengths for the benefit of all. The warrior chooses positive, enabling, progressive thoughts that are empowering.

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In my teaching sessions in the Maasai Mara brings this logic alive for me when I look at the Maasai warriors and the lives they led some time back before hunting of lions was rendered illegal in Kenya. These guys they hunted lions as a hobby or as a show of manhood and bravery. They did this for so long the number of lions over the years dwindled and the addition of the poaching and illegal hunting made it even worse. This was until the government gave a severe warning and penalty and incentive for the warriors who were found culpable. The incentive was the involvement of the warriors in the preservation of the lions in the game reserves by contributing their lands for animal conservation for a fee dependent on how much land they gave out for this purpose.

The point is I now use this life example to bring home the point of what kind of warrior we need to be in the modern society. We need to be warriors that recognize and move away from the small negative, internal voices that tells us that we cannot do this or that. That we are warriors that no longer kill lions as a big outward expression of manhood or bravery and move in to work on ourselves to kill the invisible and self-trapping voices that hinder us from accessing the true power of who we are as a people as a generation. The kind of warrior that moves away from me to we as the name of the organization that I work for suggests. Recognizing that empowering others is more powerful and sustainable than go at it alone in the hopes of scooping an individual prize or win. If you want to go fast, do it alone but if you want to go far, do it with a lot of people on your side or behind you or with you. The modern warrior realizes the longevity in doing things with others as no man can exist on his own. No man is an island somebody said that and you can’t agree more. As a person you are capable of achieving much, and as a people you do much more than you can ever anticipate or perceive as possible.

If you may allow me to take you back to how the Maasai warriors did their lion hunts. These hunts were done in very specific times in their lives and this was during their initiation into adulthood. They went out as a massive group of young warriors after spending time in the jungle training for months and months sharpening their skills as warriors. With permission from their elder trainers and of course after they are sure they are ready they would go out for the lion hunt to mark the end of their training as warriors. They would come dressed in their beautiful warrior gears made of cow hides, which will basically look like miniskirts, topless apart from the beautifully made Maasai bracelets running across their chests and their entire body will be painted in red color made from red soil from the ant-hill. When you met one of them, this look will scare the hell out of you as they look like aliens from out space and as a group they will scare even mightiest of the lion. They would have something a keen to a jingle bell strapped just above their knees kept it wrapped until they came across a male lion. Yes, a male lion very specific; so, now you can understand why the numbers reduced at such an alarming rate. After one or two of them spotted the lion, they would open their bells on the legs to alert the rest of the group and to lure the lion to center of the circle of warriors. They would slow keep inching forward to distance enough to spear the lion. Whoever threw the spear to hit and injure the lion would be the lion killer regardless of whether the throw was fatal enough or not to kill it. That warrior would be awarded the mane as the first prize. The second thrower would be awarded the tail and the rest would be happy to be called warriors for just having participated in the hunt and eventual killing of the lion.

The Maasai warriors are known to be amongst the most fearsome African warriors but they knew better than to approach or hunt lions as individuals. They did it as a group and a fearsome one at that. This goes without saying, that there is only so much you can do as an individual and undoubtedly so much more accomplishment can come as a team or as a group. There is an African saying that goes, togetherness is strength and division brings nothing but weakness. A true warrior has in him the energy and spirit of togetherness and shuns anything and anyone who does not recognize other people’s contribution to matters of life. I will tell you the flip side of the warrior story of someone who during the hunt will turn their backs on the lion.

Growing up with my gran was both hard and very interesting as I got to learn so much from her. My gran was a tough lady who had put up with a lot of hardship from different angles in her life. She was a second wife and mostly as you would imagine, younger by far in comparison to her co-wife. The was a lot of animosity between her and her co-wife to an extent where they had to be separated by putting a big distance between the two families. Fortunately, or unfortunately grans children were the brightest in school and this only helped fuel the animosity between the two as my grandfather spend more time with her than she did with the other family. Trouble came when he passed on and left her with 11 children to look after most of them not having finished school. This was a huge challenge for her but she never gave up. She was the strongest person I ever knew and she fought on making sure that she continued the legacy of her husband of schooling all the children. This was the only weapon she had against her co-wife who after the death of their husband wanted to take all the land and divide it amongst her own without considering the other family. Education becomes the only key and wealth she could be sure of giving her sons and daughters. She worked hard in her small retail shop and farming became her main source of income that would school, clothe and feed her family.

As a seasoned farmer my gran used to remind me from time to time that without messing up the soil, nothing but weeds would grow in our farm. So, one day I asked her why she kept saying messing up the soil. The soil as it is after harvesting, it stays undisturbed until the next planting season when the farmers would then do something. Without creating this disturbance or messing up the soil, they will not be able to plant and if they did, it will be useless as the weeds will simply swallow up the crop will never see the rays of the sun. The farmer would go hungry that year.

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As a grown up I have come to appreciate the deep lesson that was from my grandma. See, I get so hooked to a certain way of doing things to a point where I miss to see the impact that is creating. Messing up the soil is like, disrupting the normal way of operation and being willing to learn new ways of dealing. Breaking up the routine and coming up with a new program. It is the willingness to unlearn that which we know so we can create space for something new just like yoga teachers have taught over years. For every advancement there must be some adjustment and where there is adjustment there must be a change of some sort. Change is inevitable, and must happen one way or another. Like my grandma said if we don’t till the land, only useless weeds will continue to grow. Sometimes if we don’t change our way of thinking then we stay trapped in history. We can be informed by history but getting stuck in history in something totally different. We create stories from our history, and our stories are born of our interpretation of what happened in the past (history) which may be flawed or biased depending on our emotional state at the time. Therefore, there is a big chance that we can create a new interpretation of the same situation in the present that will totally alter our stories. The conclusion being we cannot fully rely on history to inform the choices that we make in the present, not unless we incorporate current data. The top soil that helped produce our bumper harvest in the last season is no longer reliable enough to give us another unless we mix up, mess it all up, disrupt it so we can plant again and expect yet another plentiful harvest this year.

Works Cited

  1. Brose, H. (1998). The making of Masai warriors: Warriorhood, masculinity, and the commoditization of tradition. American Ethnologist, 25(4), 614-640.
  2. Ellis, J. (2003). From warrior to wage laborer: Masculinities, land, and labor in the lives of Maasai men. Transforming Anthropology, 11(2), 82-94.
  3. Frechette, J. D. (2006). Introduction: Becoming Maasai, being in time, and the politics of cultural identity. Ethnology, 45(3), 189-204.
  4. Galaty, J. G., & Bonte, P. (Eds.). (2001). Herders, warriors, and traders: Pastoralism in Africa. Lynne Rienner Publishers.
  5. Homewood, K. (2008). Ecology of African pastoralist societies. James Currey.
  6. Homewood, K., & Rodgers, W. A. (1991). Maasailand ecology: Pastoralist development and wildlife conservation in Ngorongoro, Tanzania. Cambridge University Press.
  7. Morley, D., & Hamilakis, Y. (Eds.). (2014). A Companion to Archaeology. John Wiley & Sons.
  8. Moran, E. F. (2006). People and nature: An introduction to human ecological relations. Wiley-Blackwell.
  9. Spear, T., & Waller, R. (1993). Being Maasai: Ethnicity and identity in East Africa. Ohio University Press.
  10. Wilk, R., & Cliggett, L. (Eds.). (2007). Economies and cultures: Foundations of economic anthropology. Westview Press.
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The Modern Warrior. (2019, April 10). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 23, 2024, from
“The Modern Warrior.” GradesFixer, 10 Apr. 2019,
The Modern Warrior. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 23 Jun. 2024].
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