The Small Every Day Battles That Hold the World Up
Benjamin Antoni Andersen
Red Hat Culture
| July 22, 2022
Here’s to all the fighters.
The war in Ukraine shook me out of my stride and reminded me again that this world is fickle. I am reminded that the peaceful Norwegian countryside I grew up in came at a cost. That it has been held up by the wars waged by those who came before us.
But not all of history consists of heroic tales of battles and fury.
What about the unsung heroes. The ones who fought before the war ever erupted. The ones who cherished peace enough to take on the tiny, daily battles against greed and selfishness.
If there is one sword we all can pick up and wield for those coming after, it is the one where we go to war on ourselves, to make sure seeds of mistrust, hatred, and spite don’t grow up to be trees in the future forests we inhabit.
Here’s to the tiny wars you fight every day, to avoid the big ones.
Here’s to the dads who put down time, intention and care, to raise their sons to feel loved, strengthened, and aimed towards a worthy purpose.
None of that happens without them waging war on their ego, restlessness and fear of failure.
Here’s to everyone who takes a grip around their mental health, and carry on forward to work on their deep rooted problems, instead of drowning the symptoms in addictions.
None of that happens without a war on shame, hopelessness, and mistrust.
And a solid portion of grit to get back up when you fail.
Here’s to everyone who refuses to hold on to bitterness, and decide to live graciously towards everyone that ever hurt them, wafting winds of warm kindness into the cold corners of culture (yes I tried to be poetic — maybe too hard).
None of that comes without a war on pride and unyielding justice.
I know that none of these came for free — because I, like you, live through them every now and then.
I wanted to write this to encourage the everyday heroes that are spread out over the entire world — in every culture, country and continent. The ones who haven’t given up trying, and continue to get back on their feet when they fall short.
It might not feel much, but it is these tiny wars that uphold our peace in the long run.
Thank you fighters.
“I wanted to write this to encourage the everyday heroes that are spread out over the entire world — in every culture, country and continent. The ones who haven’t given up trying, and continue to get back on their feet when they fall short.”
I want our brand to be more about the passionate person under the hat, and the passionate knitters behind the hat, than about the hat itself. I want it to be more about the virtues that goes into the knitting of the hats and the virtues that drive you who wear them, than the finished product itself.
That’s why I put a certain amount on my time on articles about passionate individuals fighting hard to create quality or conquer their fears.
We seem to be wired for war, so I truly believe that finding something constructive to fight for lessens our tendencies to go meddle in other people’s stuff and being a contributor to unrest. All this passion has to go somewhere!
And thus, we craft peace with our hands and our words.
I am inspired, for example, by Emeli and Mathias who left Stockholm city to heal from burnout and set a new healthy standard for themselves and whoever may learn from them.
It is not nothing to put health before career, and be willing to leave everything.
I loved hearing the story of Monica, who has channeled her innate fierceness into mountain climbing, where she has carved our a space to go live and be free — and a place to conquer her fears.
I love how Marsden Brewer lived such a contented life that his son wanted to follow in his steps, and now they farm shellfish together, and feel all the more blessed for being together.
I want to turn the red hat into a symbol of these fighters. While it has always been a symbol of pioneering and adventuring, I know there is more to add.
To me, my passion is writing and telling stories. This entire brand exists to tell the story of Norwegian knitting, our love for the mountains and nature, and of course, handcraft. But it is when I sit down and write, and craft a story whether for film or text, I feel alive. I know my passion — and I know my path to revive from apathy.
I wanted a way where all these tiny wars that people wage every day, would fit in under the Red Hat Factory brand — to fit under the hat.
And in all my searching, I actually came across the perfect symbol — hidden in our own Norwegian War History.
During WWII the red hat became a symbol of resisting the Nazi occupation of Norway. And the reasons behind this take some interesting twists and turns.
The phenomenon actually traces its roots back to a weird little Norwegian mythological creature, the fjøsnisse — which, in our folklore, is wearing a red hat.
Because this fjøsnisse was (and still is) considered such a deeply Norwegian thing, its red hat became a symbol of resistance against foreign occupation.
So to sum it up, wearing a red beanie became forbidden in 1942, because the occupying powers understood that it was a symbol of the free Norway we were longing for.
I’ve long felt like I want to take that heritage forward somehow. Not to incite armed revolution (I know you always suspected I would), but to encourage a few of the virtues that make peace possible.
To resist war and occupation in all the ways it begins in our hearts.
Peace is won in every day life.
Every time you get up out of the couch and scale a mountain, you put your body to work, you discipline yourself, you get reconnected to the earth. Every time you take a new passion project under wing, and sit and work, in the zone, and with the intention of expression yourself and contribute something beautiful to this world — you are winning — and we are winning with you.
Say hello to a neighbor, help a friend, or encourage your own child — you are making war on your own indifference, and choose to mean something.
All those little things add up. They equate to peace.
The older I get, the more I realize this multitude of tiny fights is what will determine the difference of war and peace for our future generations. The world itself is shaped by small people’s consistent choices to do good and be fearless.
Let me try to round this off as awkwardly as possible. We should probably all just aspire to be Hobbits.