Major Dick Winters lead Easy Company during World War Two. The story is told about as well as it could be told in the HBO series Band of Brothers. I’ve been making my way through it for the second time this week and after finishing tonight I have the same feeling I did the first time I saw it about fifteen years ago: I want to be a better man.
Throughout my life I’ve been irascible, lazy, quick to anger, petty, and vengeful. I imagine a lot of you might have similarly positive things to say about yourself.
Here’s the thing. We don’t have to stay the worst version of ourselves. I don’t know if there’s any higher power and neither does anyone, really, but I believe we have access to the kind of grace the old books say is out there. We make it ourselves. It manifests between fellow travelers on this rock flying through the great void we call Earth. All around us are people who have the potential to be the greatest of friends. As far as any of us know, there isn’t anyone else but us.
It’s insane we treat each other the way we do, but that’s not our fate if we don’t. Among us walk true heroes who set an example of what it is to be brave and good. I think it’s time to start spending less time with spandex clad fictions and seek out the company of people who have really made the world better. Some of them are gone, but their words and the stories of their deeds remain. I think it’s a good idea to find these people. It’s important to remember what they did.