What is a warrior?

We may all believe we are warriors in our own right, and maybe it is so for some.

But what is a warrior? A true warrior?

Here’s a modern definition I came across online:

Neither is he a “peaceful warrior of the spirit.” True, warriors can be peaceful, and they can certainly be spiritual, but they are also capable of inflicting injury and death on a real enemy in the physical and spiritual worlds. It is a warrior’s honour and code which tempers his actions.

Spartan Code

The Spartan Warrior was a true warrior. He was plucked from his family at a young age, taught to read and write, also to become nimble through dance and exercise. By the time he was 12 he was given less food than needed to survive so that he fend for himself through stealing. If caught, he would be punished, not for stealing, but for getting caught. He lived only with other Spartans. He had minimal clothes and no shoes as to learn to withstand the elements. He slept on reeds. He exercised and trained every day for many hours past exhaustion. He wasn’t allowed to go to the market or speak to others who weren’t Spartans until the age of 30. Trained for battle, his code was his life. His shield was used to protect his fellow Spartan to the left, not himself. Working as a team they shielded each other. Spears forward, shielded by each other, they concentrated not on their own safety (because they trusted each other) but the task at hand. The only rest a Spartan got was during an actual battle.**

Check out these shutterstock images:

I’m not justifying the ways of the Spartan as it was a form of slavery and brain washing without doubt. But I am amazed at what a human can do when pushed to the limits. I hope to never be in a situation such as they were.

I’m also bringing to light the true meaning of the word that so many people use these days.

Are you a modern-day warrior? Do you know a warrior?

I’m not a warrior. I do my part and definitely stand up for what I believe. My strongest attribute is advocating for my patients. I’m a fighter, in a sense, because I would never abandon my patients no matter how difficult the shift or task may be. Somehow I get through it. Even when I’ve had to do the unthinkable I do what has to be done. I trust and rely on my colleagues to help me when needed. I utilize every skill I have to save their lives.

I know our men and women in the military are sacrificing and have sacrificed a lot. Many of them sacrificed their their lives. Yes, they are true warriors in my book. Heroes.

I’ll tell who the true warriors are in MY world.

The true warriors are the mothers and fathers of medically fragile babies or children. Especially the mothers of these children. They get up every time their child cries, exhausted or not, fight for that child, protect that child. They do without many things for themselves. Tirelessly, they keep pushing themselves to learn more about their child’s illness, seek treatments, sit with their child through those treatments. They shield their children rather than themselves. They would sleep on couches or floors to be closer to their child, go without food or a blanket, let alone a shower, if need be. With “spears forward” they fight whatever setbacks they get along the way.

I feel for my pediatric patients, I do. It’s my job to care for them and keep them safe. Each one has a piece of my heart. I am rooting for each and every one of them. I worry about them when they have a surgery or procedures. How can I not? I’m with one patient 40+ hours per week. I clean them up after they are sick, feed them, change their diapers, rock them to sleep, play with them, as well as do my best to comfort them on those unthinkable bad days, in addition to all the actual nursing duties involving equipment and procedures.

But I feel more for the moms. They aren’t my patients and there’s not a whole lot I can do for them except to take care of their babies the best I can. I know that means a lot to them. What they go through, though, is horrendous. It’s unthinkable. It’s devastating and heartbreaking. Honestly, I can’t even think of a word to actually describe the pain that I sometimes witness in them because the situation is so awful. Most of the parents of the pediatric parties I’ve had have questioned at some point whether or not their child would survive. I know that with every fiber of their being all they want is for their child to be well, yet they have to see them sick and in pain, sometimes suffering. It’s hard for them to find any time for themselves. They are exhausted yet somehow always find strength. Too many days are spent with doctors, at hospitals having procedures or surgeries. I’ve had babies that have had 6 surgeries before their first birthday and more to come. Zero days are spent being a “normal” family. What is normal for them? They give medications and deal with medical equipment on a daily basis. They have nurses in their home all the time, occupational, physical, sometimes speech, massage and music therapists regularly coming and going.

This is not to say that their children do not bring them immense pleasure and joy because they certainly do. It’s just not the life they chose or ever expected. They were thrust into it and made to deal with it.

I wonder then if a warrior is ever a warrior by choice? It seems to me that we humans have a way of adapting far beyond our comprehension. The will to survive and protect what is “ours” is miraculous. The capacity to recover from loss is also remarkable. To go on despite it all.

After being a nurse for 21 years, I’ve often found myself saying, “I hope I never have to find out how strong I am.”


If you happen to know a mom who has a medically complex child, why not bring her family a meal or offer to do some housework for them?

Count your blessings tonight. May you be happy and well. May all beings live their lives with ease.


*The source is a site called Angelfire. I do not recommend you go to it. It tried to spam me but I still wanted to include the quote because I like it.

**Interesting read

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.