It’s certainly exciting putting on your armour every morning and soldiering off into the world, ready to do battle in defence of the fair maidens that are your rights, your demands, your expectations, your wishes, your needs, and your opinions. It is bound to be an electrifying and fascinating struggle, even an enlightening one. But the cost is great, the wounds will be many, and the disappointments will be frequent.
For many of us this is an unbearable burden, which does terrible disservice and damage to the best that we are capable of as individuals. As Friedrich Nietzsche wrote, “He who fights with monsters might take care, lest he become a monster himself.” This acknowledges the very real risk that the damage to us will be severe. The anger, the resentment, the pain, the exhaustion, and the disillusionment which are the wages of this endless battle will themselves destroy us. Any victory we win is compromised by the potential cost; that we become monsters ourselves, or at least arseholes.