As I was reading about Sledge today, the concept of grit and exhaustion came to my mind. Reminding me to stay focused on my purpose and my goals. Tho I am tired. Tho the odds seem to be overwhelming and a sure loss.
Keep pushing forward. Focus on the ground right in front of me. Don’t get distracted by what is on my right or left.
You can do that when you trust the brother on either side of you. You have guys watching your back and your sides. Warning of danger. Brothers that pick you up. That challenge you. Just like Doc challenged Sledge when he was going to pry the gold teeth out of the Japanese soldiers’ mouth. Doc challenged Sledge to keep his humanity and civility.
Brothers that you respect and admire are key to this. Brothers who will put their lives on the line. Do their job knowing that your and their lives are in the balance. Similar to the navy pilots in the landing of the small island in Peleliu, and the flame thrower infantrymen.
Trust by these men and brothers was and is built in the trenches. And trust is still built in the trenches. Whether it’s work, family, church, or any other social group or team. The social contracts that allow trust are crucial to a team, a family, a group to bring success and support.
When that contract broke down, as when Sam drifted off to sleep resulting in the death of Bill by friendly fire. The consequences were severe. Trust had to be rebuilt over time. But that trust never changed the impact on Bill’s family. To the soldier who shot him in the dark. And to the men in the surrounding foxholes.
Trust is powerful. When built, it allows teams to do amazing things. When broken. Teams crumble.