We are what we defend

During my university days, we lived in a hostel and argued a lot.

We would argue about whose city, whose football team, or whose politics is better. The two sides would often form factions and battle it out well past midnight.

And yet, we weren’t the mayors of our cities. We weren’t the manager of our football teams, and we didn’t decide the quality of candidates that our political parties fielded in the next election. Why did we defend things that we were so far removed from?

It was because our identities were tied up with the things we defended. If somebody attacked our favourite footballer, it felt like they were attacking us. Without these things, we had lost our moorings.

We are what we defend. Sure, we could choose to defend that which we have no control over. Alternatively, we can choose to defend our work, our values and what we stand for.