This is your life and it’s ending one minute at a time. You are not infinity. You can never live to be as old as the sands in Egypt. Instinctively, you know this. This is why you were born into this world kicking and screaming instead of a huge smile on your face. You know that once you’re here, there’s no going back. Your life is going to be one long battlefield and you’ll need all the wits that you can gather in order to survive. George Santayana once said that “To fight is a radical instinct; if men have nothing else to fight over they will fight over words, fancies, or women, or they will fight because they dislike each other's looks, or because they have met walking in opposite directions.” But you know what’s odd other than the recent powerpop-aka-emo fad and imbecilic politicians? The fact that people only get one chance to live, gifted with just one lifetime, yet they spend it mostly fighting over something instead of fighting for something.
Try to remember the last time you fought over something with a friend or an enemy. Now try to remember the last time you fought for something that means something. There’s just no comparison. Chuck D. says, “Fight the power.” The Beastie Boys say, “You gotta fight for your right to party”. You turn on the television and learn of activists fighting for human rights in America, contestants fighting for a million dollars in Survivor and Ethiopians fighting for their survival in Africa. But then you pass by two guys in the Aggies lobby fighting over a black G-tech pen. Brilliant! Somewhere in Africa a 5-year-old kid diagnosed with AIDS is being treated by a relief aid worker who has not been able to eat a decent meal in weeks while right here in the campus a pen is being sabotaged by two pimply guys. Just bloody brilliant! It makes you wonder, is there anything worse than fighting over something so stupid?
Actually, there is. The worse thing than fighting over something really stupid is not having a single thing to fight for. Here in Xavier University, election has already ended yet the campus still reeks of the strong metaphorical smell of people who fought over whatever position they sought to covet. You heard them relentlessly promote themselves and you nod, as if in agreement and understanding, to what most of them ranted. Sure, you know what they were fighting over. They were fighting over powerful positions. But did you know what they were fighting for? Or that if they were indeed fighting for anything at all? This is important more than you think it is because these people are whom you’ve chosen to lead your struggle as an Atenean. And if those that you’ve chosen to be in these position have nothing truly essential to fight for… then this says a lot about you too. You’ve got nothing to fight for. And that’s a bummer.
A Swahili Warrior song says “Life has meaning only in the struggle. Triumph or defeat is in the hands of the gods. So let us celebrate the struggle.” At the end of the day, it’s not the victory or the defeat that counts but the struggle that you went through to get there. So when you stop fighting, you stop living. We all need that thing that's worth fighting for and maybe it's a certain someone, a special place, a great cause or maybe just an idea. But we all need it. So, fellow Swahili warriors, ask yourselves this: What are you fighting for?