I had the great privilege of interviewing Lt. Col. Dave Grossman back in 2015. Col. Grossman is the founder of Killology, former US Army Ranger and is the author of the Pulitzer-Prize Nominated book, On Killing (which was placed on the USMC recommended or required reading list).
I was interviewing him for my newest book on warrior virtue (which shall be released in 2017). Among the discussion of virtue, we discussed other topics relevant for protectors - tactics, mindsets, and strategies. One aspect of violence that the Col. touched on was denial. He illustrated his thoughts on denial the following way:
He mentioned that there have been 0 kids killed by school fire in the last 40-50 years. He then shared that thousands of kids have been murdered by violence in the schools in that same time frame. A typical response to the sharing of this truth is that one is "fear mongering". Or perhaps it isn't "PC" to talk about? However, I argue that it is those who willfully deny the truth that we should fear.
Think about it, what could be more harmful to future children than to deny reality? If thousands of children really have been murdered by violence in the schools, shouldn't we face that reality and then combat it? Denial is the very thing that will lead to more deaths and tragic consequences.
In my opinion, the death knell of political correctness is the law of cause and effect (The Law of C&E) - the iron chain of reasoning that leads from one thing to another. The Law of C&E can only be denied for so long thanks to the Law's child - consequences. Cause and Effect marry and their children are Consequences.
The consequences show us what happens when we continue to deny a particular aspect of reality. However, as long as you are denying reality, you cannot address the problem or seek a solution.
Denial is the thing that will get you killed. Denial is expressed by us in many ways all throughout life. When it comes to violence, denial rarely serves to benefit us (I say 'rarely' simply to cover my bases but at this time, I cannot think of a way in which denial of reality serves to help you).
Denial can lead to lack of preparation. Lack of preparation can lead to your victimization due to that very lack of preparedness. The truth is, many (maybe even most) interpersonal violence can be prevented if you took some simple, preparatory steps to do so. However, if denial stops you from paying attention when you go out, from carrying a weapon or tool to protect yourself, or from telling your family or friends about how to stay safe while they travel, then that very denial could be the reason you (or someone else) ends up suffering the consequences.
The Col. is famously quoted as saying, "Preparation cures paranoia - it's denial that gets us killed." I couldn't agree more. My own private clients and students report a decrease in personal anxiety and an increase in personal calm after having been trained in personal protection. They report feeling more peace of mind now that they know how to handle a firearm or other tool to keep themselves safe. They experience these benefits because they did not live in denial – they admitted violence was real and they sought help by finding a good instructor.
Some try to scare you into thinking that if you admit violence is real, you will suffer a panic attack or your nerves will be shot, etc. My clients report the opposite. The more they train, the more knowledge they acquire, the more they hone their protective skills, the more peaceful, calm and comfortable they feel.
The more prepared you become for violence, the less power the anxiety and worry surrounding violence will have over your life. But you cannot prepare if you deny reality. Face reality today so that you can prepare so that you can begin to acquire real peace that comes through action.
Don't let denial be a potent enemy in your life. Crush it by taking action. What action do I recommend? Find good personal protection training. Do not settle until you find reality, truth and purity.
Until next time my fellow warrior, live in the battleground,
Alexander Lanshe Sensei
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National Speaker, author, blogger, and life-long student of warrior arts and science.