“I don’t think it’s our purpose to understand. Except one thing—we’re soldiers. We have to know what we’re fighting for. I’m not fighting so some man or woman I barely know can sit on a throne made of swords…[I’m fighting for] life. Death is the enemy. The first enemy and the last…The enemy always wins. And we still need to fight him. That’s all I know. You and I won’t find much joy while we’re here, but we can keep others alive. We can defend those who can’t defend themselves…Maybe we don’t need to understand any more than that. Maybe that’s enough.”

Beric Dondarrion
(Game of Thrones: “Beyond the Wall”, Season 7, Episode 6)

Imagine stepping into a boxing ring, knowing you’ll be knocked out. That’s life. It’s a sparring match with an unbeatable opponent, a dance with an unyielding partner. Each day, we lace up our gloves, get back in the ring, and face the towering titan that is death, knowing that the knockout punch will come.

It’s like climbing a mountain that grows a foot taller each day. The summit, always just out of reach, mocks our efforts. Yet we keep climbing, keep pushing, keep striving. We’re stubborn that way. We have to be.

Our daily battles with this eternal adversary are not futile gestures of defiance. They are strokes of a paintbrush on the canvas of life, imprints on the sands of time, lines in the story that we’re all writing. They define us, shape us, make us who we are.

Every breath we take, every step we make, every beat of our heart is a small victory. Every time we laugh, love, create, dream—we score a point. Each of these moments, fleeting yet meaningful, is a testament to our resilience, our capacity to seek joy and meaning amidst the certainty of our own mortality.

It’s not about winning the war; it’s about winning the battles. The strength of the human spirit is revealed not in the final outcome, but in the journey. It’s about the struggle, the endurance, the ability to find light in the darkness, hope in despair. It’s about how many times we get up, not how many times we’re knocked down.

So, we keep fighting, keep resisting, keep living. Because every day we do, we affirm our humanity—we celebrate life. We wage this unwinnable war not for the hope of victory, but for the love of life and the pursuit of moments that make it worthwhile.

This is our battle cry, our anthem, our truth: We fight because we live, and we live because we fight. It is a war we’re destined to lose—but in the journey, we find our victories. We may not conquer death, but we master life. And perhaps, that’s the greatest victory of all.

Stephen Boudreau serves as VP of Product + Content Marketing at Virtuous Software. For over two decades, he has helped nonprofits leverage the digital space to grow their impact. To that end, Stephen co-founded RaiseDonors, a platform that provides nonprofits with technology and experiences that remove barriers to successful online fundraising. He is an avid (but aging) soccer player, audiobook enthusiast, and the heavily-disputed UNO champion of his household.

Copyright ©2024 Stephen Boudreau.