Finding the Warriors

Atalwin Pilon writes that sacrifice, compassion, and love prevail where greed, fear, and denial fall short.

I want to write a book about what I call warriorship. I want to find inspiring men who keep their backs straight and their hearts open despite of the challenges that life makes us endure. I want to listen to their stories and, hopefully, add some sort of value to their lives. My questions are: can one man make a difference? Can I be that man? Who are the men in the world that make a difference? What do they have in common or what is the key?


A week ago I was talking to a friend about my plans to go on a quest. He owns an ad agency and can’t help but looking at my project with a commercial eye. Is this project interesting for a big audience? Does it have added value for brands? He told me that what was missing was a sense of urgency.

My friend proceeded to explain how serious the problems in the world are today. That all his wealthy friends are working on a plan B, in case the systems crash. They are anticipating the crash of the euro and a hyperinflation in Europe that will make all the money worthless. Your savings won’t take you far into your retired life if a cup of coffee costs 4000 euro in 2012. People with enough assets make sure that they swap euros for something that keeps its value and/or they make sure they can leave Europe in time and/or create a cash flow that comes from else where on the planet. This is not hypothetical. Rich and sensible people have already taken counter-measurements. Our economical problems are that serious.

For me it is hard to imagine. I am not rich enough to swap my savings for gold. But I do realize that many people remain ignorant regardless of the gravity of the problems. Our own greed and fear is often in our blind spot. We don’t like Wall Street bankers to be greedy sons of bitches but we like it that Thailand is cheap. How does that work? Our ego is built around masking our inferiority. So we judge and reject those and that what makes us feel inferior (banker’s greed) and we justify similar behavior of our own. This is how we protect ourselves from the truth. It makes that we don’t feel responsible and therefore there is no reason to take action. We only care about our own safety. We take action when we start feeling threatened. Then we act against the threat, seeing that as something “wrong” that exists outside ourselves.

We rather not see that we are the problem. We rather stay in denial. You can apply the litmus test to yourself: if you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem.

Our planet needs your awakening and mine. I can’t wait for you to awake and we can’t wait for “them.” The tricky thing is: to awaken means to die first. If you are not prepared to die and are obsessed with your own survival, don’t expect others to let go of their ideas about security and freedom.


My friend told me: “When the systems crash we need people like you. Because we will not fall back into the middle ages. We will have a developed society without guidance. We know what mechanisms brought us down. New forms of leadership will emerge. We need the warriors you are talking about. They have to show us a new paradigm for living. They have to show us how to live from the heart. That’s why we need you to go on your journey and that’s why we need your book.”

Everybody wants to be free but nobody wants to change. Change means sacrifice, the willingness to let go of what you are most attached to. Yet another paradox: deep down we know all this. We know that letting go of our greed and fear will set us free. We know that being unconditionally abundant with love, care, and generosity will add tremendous quality to our lives—if not solve all our problems.

To live in peace we need our egos to die and our hearts to open. We can only truly live when we are not busy with survival by feeding our illusions of safety.

We will die anyway—no need to worry about that.

My first step needs to be to put my money where my mouth is, to buy a plane ticket and go out there looking for my fellow warriors. To connect and learn from them and spread the word. I realized it is not just about me testing myself. Thanks to my friend I am now aware of the urgency.

You are not convinced? Let me illustrate it once again. Michael Franti performed on Occupy Amsterdam. He gave a free performance to the protesters. In the video below you see an interview with him where he voices the problems he sees beautifully and eloquently. A true warrior he is, a man who unites and not divides. Listen to him when he sings. And then pay special attention to the cheering of the protestors when the song is over. They are no different than the bankers that they react against.

Let’s appreciate the complexity of the issues at hand. We must be willing to look at ourselves first before we judge the other. The sooner the better. Now.

Originally appeared at BasicGoodness.

—Photo turbo.beagle/Flickr

About Atalwin Pilon

Atalwin Pilon is a former bad boy from Amsterdam who had an experience of spiritual awakening at 32. Since that moment he committed to the truth and lives from his heart. Currently he is traveling the world on a quest for meaning, aiming to make a difference. Follow him on his blog Basic Goodness, Facebook and Twitter. You can try him out as your life coach too, if his voice speaks to you. Email him. He will be honored.


  1. Your article rings true, Atalwin. First and foremost I try to be aware of when I start pointing fingers, I have three pointing at myself.
    I’m sure you have your definition of what it means to be a “warrior”. I’m also pretty certain it bears little resemblance to the traditional definition other than to stand up and “fight” for one’s beliefs. However the nature of the battle bears little resemblance to the traditional definition. When I joined the military, I went through a condensed training and indoctrination program. The new warrior needs training as well. Perhaps in a future article you can discuss the characteristics of the warrior you refer to. A good start might be your article on what it means to be a good man and expand on that.
    In the final analysis, I suggest that the warrior of today needs grounding not in fear and violence but in love and compassion for others. That state can be achieved only after each of us manages to master our own passionate natures. To master oneself is the greatest victory and in truth the highest lifetime goal…

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