I will not bore you with the story of my past three weeks. Though, if you must know, I have suffered abandonment, heartache, and financial instability.
My last article was about maintaining and defending your honor and your reputation. If you must know, my reputation is not intact. It is hanging on the balance of good and evil, and there is little I can do to fix it.
Reputation under attack
Now, one thing I did not cover in my last article: What do You do When Your Reputation is Ruined? Well, dear reader, you must know, there is little you can do.
You aren’t supposed to do anything, if much at all.
You see, the way your reputation and namesake are structured is quite interesting. As I said, your reputation is built up by actions that are either good or bad. When you routinely choose right over bad, you build your honor. I won’t get into the morality of good and evil. It is far too complicated.
When your reputation is under attack, certain enemies will be the loudest and will strike against you almost constantly. But primarily, the world will remain quiet. See, the world does not care if your reputation has been destroyed. You must sill eat, still sleep, still work. After all, what more does a man have?
This group of enemies demands you cease working, demand you stop eating, and require you to end sleeping. Their goal was to destroy your life from the outside by taking something from inside your life and exploiting it for all eyes to see and know. These tactics are devilish, yes, but they are effective. And us Barbarians know,
All is fair in love and war.
Your heart is troubled.
So, the world is quiet in the sense that it sill demands of you what it always did. You still have relationships you must foster. You still have brothers you need to tend. You need to protect and provide for the family you have.
My heart has not been quiet within me for some time now. It fluctuates; some days, it screams at me, others I don’t hear much from it. Alas, it also isn’t so much so my heart that is distressed, but my soul and mind.
A strong man is a master of all three. But a wise man knows when he should listen to one, and omit the others. However, when the heart is troubled, it is the loudest. Its cries will resonate deep within your bones and cause your stomach to turn. A weak heart creates a weak body, then a weak mind, and lastly, a weak spirit.
Now, I am a religious man. I have studied my scriptures intently, with religious fervor that transcends any time I’ve spent with my Creator in years prior. I have reached a place where my soul will speak to me and tell me, “Go, read, you know this is what you must do.”
For the first week of my onslaught of attacks, I took to the great outdoors. I found solitude amongst the green, but I also met with the outdoors’ afflictions that I was not accustomed to the unpleasant heat, the biting bugs, and some rather uncomfortable park tables that were not kind to my lower back.
But I would have been a fool to abandon my post outdoors over such petty unpleasantries.
Planning and preparation
During this week, I spent my time reading, praying, and fasting. It did my soul well and gave my heart strength. I felt adequately guided and prepared for the next battles I would face. These past two weeks have been interesting. But I was ready for them. And for some time, my heart was quiet.
In the past two days, I have been busy working on jump-starting a mock online business. Unfortunately, this onslaught took my job away from me after my boss told my attackers, “I don’t abide by cancel culture.” I still do not know the extent of this attack. I do not know if it will get worse, or if now it can get better.
So, I wait.
Let’s start connecting the dots. I have my reputation and honor to defend.
Those two things are arguably the most important thing to a man. A man’s reputation is essentially a man’s soul. Without it, he is lifeless and void of purpose. And this troubled and loud heart of mine feels quite a void and purposeless.
Alas, I must depart and avenge myself! I must strike against my enemies swiftly and bring them to their knees before me!
But in doing so, I would succumb to the narrative they portray of me.
“Perhaps an apology would proceed with acceptance and forgiveness.” See, I differ among the religious who have come to me to give me advice.
These thoughts are where discernment goes beyond my understanding and is felt deep within myself. When I feel the urge to retaliate and defend myself in the traditional sense, it does not sit well within my being. My soul knows it is wrong. When I contemplate apologizing, it makes no sense. Why should I apologize? I was not the one who was in the wrong.
The “wrong” I committed was one of offense against others. If your beliefs or ideologies offend someone, that is only natural. That is what makes us human. We should no apologize for being human.
Do you see my dilemma? I am not called to retaliate, nor am I called to reconcile. This leaves my heart troubled.
What shall I do!
Nothing. I will do nothing. Barbarians are men of action, so doing nothing sounds counterintuitive. Now we must go back to reputation and honor, but mostly honor.
Remember, honor is built over a period of time that you make the right decision. When your honor is under attack, the right decision also constitutes defend your honor. Apologizing for something you have not been convicted of is spineless.
This is where there is a divide. When building up your honor, you give testimony when it is inquired of you. You speak honestly of yourself when people are choosing to come to you and listen. If your honor has been disregarded and there is no effective medium or platform to give your say on the matter, then defending your honor means something different.
In this case (or, in my case, rather), you are not called to defend your honor, but to rebuild it. Not rebuild in the sense of starting over, but rebuilding in the sense of seeing where you left off and building from there.
Nothing angers modern-day attackers more than acting as if nothing happened.
Yes, dear reader, my heart reminds me frequently of what happened. My mind continually is asking me, “What shall we do to amend?” But then I remember, the world is silent.
Sometimes the world isn’t. I’m no master at deciphering the signs from the universe. But this hardship has led me to heed the callings within my soul.
I have read my books, I have studied the scriptures I hold near and dear to my heart, I have sought my Creator earnestly in prayer.
Hear the words of David, son of Jesse, when his enemy Saul slept in his presence, and he could have killed him in his sleep: (1 Samuel 24)
 The LORD judge between me and thee, and the LORD avenge me of thee: but mine hand shall not be upon thee.
 As saith the proverb of the ancients, Wickedness proceedeth from the wicked: but mine hand shall not be upon thee.
I must still sleep. I must still eat. I must still find work and purpose for myself. All I must do from there is do what is right and good, and slowly, yet indirectly, my honor will be restored.
Remember these things, dear reader. A strong man is never too far from war.
David F.A. | Arsenal Headmaster | Twitter: @HeadMasterDFA
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