On Courage and Convictions
I live a few miles outside of a small town in Wyoming, and the other day I was flagged down by someone standing in the middle of the road while driving into town just before sunrise. Out here people hit deer or swerve off the road because of animals, so I stopped in case help was needed.
It turns out that he was about 17 or 18, walking in the middle of nowhere at dawn, drunk or stoned (probably both) and had no idea where he was.
I embrace the idea of making the world a better place and protecting life (even the bad guy), and if he kept getting out into the road, he was going to get himself killed. As we talked, I listened carefully to my instincts and intuition, and decided that although he was a risk, he was not a big risk. To make a long story short, I put him in a tactically acceptable location in the car (no, not the trunk) and gave him a ride into town. I dropped him off in town without incident, and we each went our separate ways. I’ll never know if I made much of a difference or saved his life or whatever, but what the heck, it seemed like the only thing to do.
The story is of interest because a friend of mine who is much stronger and generally physically superior to me stopped for this young man earlier, but declined giving him a ride. Other friends that later heard the story expressed their concern with my sanity. They are justified with their actions and opinions because it would not have been safe for them to help. These friends and I all believe in the ideas of charity and helping our fellow man very devoutly as part of our religious faith, and statistically, they were all better examples of going the extra mile to help others than I am, but this time they were unprepared physically and mentally. They had not “run the scenarios and done the math” mentally for a potentially hostile situation. They couldn’t improvise weapons they may have needed, and probably don’t carry a dedicated weapon; in essence, they were the wrong piece to this part of the puzzle. I was the right piece of the puzzle because I had, I could and I do.
I am not writing this to tell everybody what a great guy I am. I want to inspire my fellow sheepdogs that there are holes in the puzzle-fabric of the world where we are the only fit. Most people view our need to study the fighting arts with caution or worse, but in spite of that it is important that we keep up our training and mindset. We want to help those that really need it, and there are people in dangerous situations who need our help. Sometimes we are the only ones that can help them.
Stay strong, train hard and maintain the courage of your convictions.