Hours of pain, yielding only when the torture stops for a moment- and then begins again. Torn flesh, blood, screams, holding the hand of someone as their face contorts into something you saw in a horror movie… childbirth.
Lack of sleep, pain; physical, mental, emotional. Being hungry, irritable, and miserable in the rain, and cold, and heat. Waking up in the middle of the night with cramps that bring tears. Barely being able to walk as you limp through your life. Body parts falling off. And then you cross the finish line at a Marathon, smiling.
(Ok the body parts are just toenails.)
Sometimes I think I know something only to find out Paul Harvey’s “The rest of the story.” I really love that saying. It actually gives me some peace of mind knowing that don’t have to have the answer. Knowing that I think, instead of thinking that I know. Now don’t get me wrong. There are times when I will stand toe to toe with the best of them and not yield my ground. But these days I tend to choose my stances with a bit more wisdom.
Of course, I also jump my share of starting guns too.
It hasn’t happened yet but I’m looking forward to when someone asks me “Ewww, you’re a firearms instructor?!?! Why on earth would you do something like that?” I’ve rehearsed my response a few times but I also know that if I want to be understood it’s my responsibility to communicate in such a way as to be understood- by the person that I want to understand me. Whew, let me try that again. If I want you to understand me it’s my job, not yours. As such, I need to consider who I’m talking to before I start flapping my gums. Uhm, yeah that’s better. So I think I’ll say, depending on who I’m talking to, something like this.
- “The reason I became a firearms instructor is because I got tired of sitting on my butt and not doing anything about all of the negligent and unjustified shootings that happen in this country. I got tired of hearing about toddlers shooting siblings, “accidents” when cleaning guns, and terrible mistakes being made with guns. I became angry at all of the (here we go) Pointless Pontifications of Political Pundits on social media preaching to their, own captive audience, choir.
So back to my original point about Perception and Paradox.
Spending untold amounts of money on guns, ammunition and training, practicing taking a human life. Controlling the explosion in the barrel of a 9mm handgun in an attempt to get off a second shot aimed at the high upper torso of that second assailant. Being exposed to harmful chemicals, solvents, and lead. Contributing to the NRA. Being so paranoid of my fellow man that I can never relax and just have a nice meal at a restaurant with being worried if my back is to the door.
These things, and a lot of others, can be thrown into a box that tries to represent me as a gun totin’ fanatic that contributes to the murder of schoolchildren. OR folks can understand that there is a Paul Harvey’s “the rest of the story” going on. I am a responsible armed citizen. Much like stopping to ask if someone needs help along the side of the road, holding the door open for someone, or simply saying good morning when I’m out for a run. I assume a greater level of responsibility for my fellow citizens. One of the ways I do this is by being prepared to defend them if the need arises, to protect them with force.
I sure would like to take credit for the little “EUREKA!” moments I have in life. I’ve come up with some pretty good ones along the way. But I don’t think there is anything new under the sun, maybe just a new way of saying it. Well, here goes.
“Reponere Timore Meditata”, Replace Fear With Preparation.