You ARE Worth Fighting For!

While enjoying some much-needed vacation time, I had the opportunity to partake an a rare indulgence this weekend: I was treated to an absolutely delightful hour of work by a massage therapist. While she worked, she asked me what I do, and – boom! – even though I hadn’t intended to, we were off to the races, talking about my writing and teaching about self-defense, shooting and safety.

Of course, the topic closest to the front of her mind, as with most Americans these days, was the shooting in Colorado. (In keeping with my practice to date, I’ll refrain from using either the perpetrator’s name or the catchy alliterative name the media’s come up with for the crime). We talked some about armed self-defense and the decision to be armed. She asked me whether I thought I really could pull the trigger and shoot a bad guy.

“If my life was in danger? You bet,” I told her.

Her reply was one I’ve come to expect, and it’s a distressingly common one when I talk to other women.

“I don’t think I could do that,” she told me. “I don’t think I could take another person’s life to save my own.” She shuddered when she thought about it.

I inclined my head toward the desk behind her, where a framed photo sat. “Are those your kids?” I asked her gently. “Could you shoot someone, if he was threatening to harm your children?”

She considered that for a moment, then her jaw set determinedly. “Oh, of course,” she replied. “I’d do anything to protect my kids from getting hurt!”

I offered a gentle smile. “Do you think it would hurt your kids to lose their mother?”

She went motionless for a second. “Huh,” she said then. “I’d never thought about it that way.”

“Suppose you didn’t have kids, though,” I said. “Do you think the work you do has value for your clients?” She’d previously told me she was trained in a style of work that views massage as a healing art, so I knew I was on solid ground with that question. “And what about your other family and friends – would it hurt them if something happened to you?”

“I see what you mean,” she said, at last. “That’s something to think about.”

We went on to talk about other things, but the conversation got me to thinking. Even apart from all the ways our lives, and our deaths, would impact other people, I believe that merely by being alive we have intrinsic value. We are human beings, put on this earth for a limited time, and each day we live is a precious gift that can never be replaced once it’s gone. There will never be another you in the history of the universe, just as there will never be another me. We are, literally, each one of us, a one-of-a-kind treasure that can never be replaced.

If thinking of your family, spouse, children, friends or other loved ones helps you get to that place of combat mindset where you say to yourself “I am willing to fight as hard as I possibly can to stay alive,” so much the better. If thinking about how your death would affect those you leave behind helps you find that fire in your soul and determination of spirit in your heart, by all means do that. But the real truth is far simpler: Even if none of those other people existed, even if none of them was your reason to fight, you are precious and unique. You are worth fighting for.


  1. […] of all, I could not agree more with AGirl’s comment (which I’ve echoed here before): You do matter. Your life does have worth. Sure, if you’re a wife or mother (or husband or […]

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