Action

by Tom Swift

‘We have spoken in jest many times, you and I,’ Baggar Vance addressed Junah, ‘about why I initially attached myself to to you, and why I’ve never strayed far from your side all these years. It was for this day, Junah. As we go, I will teach you.’

He nodded to me; I bent to the golf bag and passed it to him. Bagger Vance set it upright before the champion, its hickory-shafted irons flashing like quivered arrows in the sun. The Krewe Island car pulled up alongside us. Across the duneland you could hear the galleries cheer as [Walter] Hagen and [Bobby] Jones approached the first tee.

‘Your heart is kind, Junah. You have seen the agony of war and you wish never again to harm anything or anyone. So you choose not to act. As if by that choice, you will cause no harm.

‘This intention is admirable as far as it goes, but it fails to apprehend the deeper imperative of life. Life is action, Junah. Even choosing not to act, we act. We cannot do otherwise. Therefore, act with vigor!’

Vance glanced once to McDermott, to let the professional know we were coming. Then he turned back to his champion.

‘Stand now, Junah, and take your place. Do honor to yourself and to your station!”

-Steven Pressfield, The Legend of Baggar Vance (1995)