Posted by: joshjasper | December 13, 2009

The Last Samurai

If you haven’t seen “The Last Samurai” with Tom Cruise in it, it’s worth a look.  I hadn’t seen that movie in a while and decided to “Netflix it”  this weekend.  The story of the The Samurai is quite compelling, and proved to fuel my motivation in my work.  At one point in the movie, American soldier Nathan Algren (Tom Cruise) was taken prisoner by a handful of Samurai.  During his imprisonment, Nathan learns the way of the Samurai and soon begins to embody their culture.  At one point in the movie, the American soldier notes the following about his captors:

“They are an intriguing people. From the moment they wake they devote themselves to the perfection of whatever they pursue. I have never seem such discipline.” 

You see during this scene men and women waking at dawn to pursue complete perfection in their work.  People are practicing hand to hand combat, tending to their livestock, and working as blacksmiths, completely fulfilled with their role in life and driven to master their respective trades.  As I repeatedly watched that scene, I began to wonder about the sense of satisfaction they must have felt knowing that were giving every ounce of their energy to something they truly believed in.  There were no days of question,  no days that in which they went to work only to go through the motions.  At the end of the day they knew they had given everything.

Incredible things have been accomplished in our work by a relatively small handful of individuals.   Can you even begin to imagine the change that would take place in our entire community if every single member woke every day with the same desire to end violence that we strive towards?  During the movie the Samurai take 500 men into battle armed with nothing more than swords against  an Imperial Army consisting of thousands of men that are armed with rifles, the use of artillery, and the newly invented Gatling machine guns.  The Samurai overwhelmed the Army with their abilities and committment.  

Creating a community free of sexual violence would be realized overnight with the same kind of community committment.

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