Every year, the Greenway near my home declares some month or other “Greenway Month” (maybe April?). The month isn’t material, but the message from this last one stuck with me. Along one of the roads that leads to the “main” Greenway entrance, a series of signs were posted. The message was something like this:
“The last (green) line of defense against urban sprawl.”
The sleepy little Charlotte suburb in which I live with my family has more than doubled in population over the last 15 or so years that we’ve lived there. There’s no question that “sprawl” is a concern for a lot of the residents. Growth causes all kinds of issues that must be addressed. More traffic, more congestion, more construction, more crime, and on and on. Challenges are creeping (or sprawling) toward our little “Comfort Hamlet” at a rapid pace. The pressure put on the family that owns much of the Greenway land (and on the town) to sell some of that land to developers is high. Despite what would be a sizable payday, they have chosen to remain the last (green) line of defense. At least for now…
It got me thinking. The world is continuing to creep, sprawl, edge in, infiltrate, or whatever word you want to use. Who will be the last line of defense?
The world wants you fat. The world wants you lazy. It wants you to idolize misery and to complain about everything. It wants you to follow the “sitcom” model of masculinity and fatherhood, a bumbling fool of a man that is not an asset to his community or his family. It wants you to consume, not to create. It wants you to hate your neighbor and to put people into boxes so you can demonize them. It wants you to succumb to your pride and believe that you alone are right, while all others are wrong. It wants you to seek to gain power and then to misuse that power to your benefit and the exploitation of others. It wants you to normalize and even celebrate victimhood and outrage. It wants nothing good for you or those you love. This is by design. There is no need to be upset by it, but there is a need to stand against it.
We must be “the last (manly) line of defense against worldly sprawl (Goo).” This means rejecting the temptations that Goo puts in our path. We cannot be fat, lazy, divisive, prideful, or anything else that will draw us away from our duty. And as F3 men, it starts with The Mission, The Credo, and The 5 Core Principles. If you allow yourself to drift on these, then you will drift elsewhere also. “A cord of three strands is not easily broken” goes both ways. If we allow Goo to creep in strand by strand, soon there will be enough strands that you will not be able to break them. Then, sedentary and trapped, you will have given up your will and your freedom. You will be subject to the blowing wind and unable to act for yourself.
This cannot be. We cannot let ourselves or our brothers find ourselves trapped in these strands. We must be the last line of defense because the World isn’t interested in helping.
So stand. Be disciplined. Raise your hand and be counted among the defenders.
– Dark Helmet