Si tu réalises que la vie n’est pas là (if you realize that life is not there) Que le matin tu te lèves (that in the morning you get up) Sans savoir où tu vas (without knowing where you’re going) Résiste (resist) Prouve que tu existes (prove that you exist) Cherche ton bonheur partout, va, (look for your happiness all over, go) Refuse ce monde égoïste (say no to this selfish world) Résiste. Suis ton coeur qui insiste (Resist. Follow your heart, it insists) Ce monde n’est pas le tien, viens,(that this world is not yours, come)
… Danse pour tous ceux qui ont peur (dance for all those who are afraid)
Danse pour les milliers de cœurs (dance for the thousands of hearts)
Qui ont droit au bonheur (that deserve to be happy)
[from the song “Résiste” by Michel Berger (1947-1992)]
The Regiment of Ardennian Rifles (Régiment des Chasseurs Ardennais) is an infantry regiment in the Belgian Armed Forces. It was my Dad’s home for most of his military career. Its emblem –a wild boar’s head- hangs on my living room wall cast in a small tin plate. Its commanding motto is printed in my heart and brain: “Résiste et Mords” [‘Resist and Bite’]. My siblings and I grew up in the shadow of this untamed beast. We bit our tongues more than once and resist, we did. The temptation to be different. The lure of foreign battles. We became good army boars, dutiful and resilient, showing respect and obeying orders.
Resistance is not very popular these days. Resistance to mutating germs threatens to wipe off mankind. Resistance to insulin is spreading faster than sweet jam. “What we resist persists”, we’re told. From negative thoughts to illness. We’re to get in the flow. We’re to let go and let God if we have any hope of being showered with life’s material and spiritual riches. Surrender is the preferred choice. The path of least resistance promises to be the 21st century highway to Heaven. Forget about biting anyone. It’s just not done anymore. Love is the answer. We strive to connect and hold hands with our fellow men.” And I’m all for it. Indeed I am. But I can’t help wondering about another kind of ‘resist’. The kind that moves us beyond the war zone and the casualties. The strength that propels us through life’s trials and losses. The deep need to venture past what we’ve been taught is acceptable or proper. The desire to shake the darkness until it explodes into a myriad of hopeful stars. Have you ever felt this surge of resistance?
When my father passed away my Mom assured me that she would do everything she could to survive without him (quite a feat after 56 years of marriage). She hugged me tight and declared: “I’m going to be ok. I resist but I don’t bite.” Her simple statement reminded me that the wild boar personifies warrior spirit, fortitude, and leadership. He’s strong and intrepid. He faces challenges with bravery, refusing to yield. My mother was not to win her fight against loneliness; she had no bite left in her. She capitulated to emptiness and depression. In her name I’m now choosing to bite into life with renewed enthusiasm and a ferocious appetite. In my father’s memory I accept the mission to stand for what is honorable and true. It is time I graduated from army to wild boar. Because when we resist the temptation to remain amongst life’s predictable or wounded, we persist. And when we step forward into the unknown and fight for our happiness, we prevail. Only then can we surrender to the power of love, to the simple beauty of being alive.
Dare to resist! Dare to find out who you are, to disobey, and to claim proudly the reason you’re alive. Choose to combat your inner demons and to become a warrior of light. Show courage and determination. You will make a difference in the world when you dance to your own tune and bring hope to those who are too afraid to do so. Life needs you. Don’t give up or in. Accept the invitation of the wild boar: Resist and bite.
Maryse G. Copans © 2011