Monday, October 15, 2018

Does More Skill Make You More Ethical?





Does More Skill Make You More Ethical?

I've trained my entire life...

I'm no stranger to violence...

In the ring...

My youth...

My job...

Life...

I've met, learned from and trained the best in the world...

Martial arts... Tactical training... Sport... Military... Law enforcement... Private security... Domestic & overseas...

However, some of the toughest people that I know are some of the nicest...

Those folks who know they can take care of themselves and don't have anything to prove...

I was fortunate, because I was taught this first and foremost by my Dad and Grandpa (on my Mom's side).

Both were strong good male figures who trained me more by what they did than what they said.

Neither were perfect... They had their shortcomings like we all have... But in my eyes they were great men by their own right and their flaws only made them more interesting.

Regardless, I owe so much to them that this post cannot begin to express my gratitude or that feeling of fortunate I was to have these men in my life.

They taught me the difference between right and wrong... They taught me how to stand up for myself and to protect others. Again... Not by what they said as much as what they did.

My dad's father basically was the Marine Corps. He lied about his age to join the service in the late 1950's. He felt compelled to help his family because his father abandoned him, his mom and her other 4 kids, leaving her (my grandma) to support the household alone, at a time when it was looked upon very differently than it is today.

Dad was stationed in Okinawa and the Philippines (Where BTW he trained in both boxing and Karate). He sent money home as he served as an MP during a time of social unrest, when segregation was unraveling.

His Life experiences with his dad and family as well as his time in the Corps forever changed him as a person...

Later after he married my Mom, he and her Dad developed a close relationship. I don't know, because my Dad is a man of few words... But, I believe he found the father he never had in my Grandpa.

My Grandfather never served in the military due to health issues, but he lived an adventurous protector's Life all the same, beginning with both of his parents dying at and early age, forcing him and his brother to make a choice to continue school, or get a factory job to support the family.

My Grandpa graduated from the 8th grade and then went to work to support the family...

Later, after he married my Grandma, when the Great Depression hit, he 'Hoboed' around for 10 years on the trains travelling the country looking for work, so he could send money home to support his family.

When I was a kid he would tell me of his adventures on the trains and all of the crazy jobs he took to earn money...

Some of more interesting jobs were, working as a carnie, where he boxed any takers. The carnival lied about his 'record' saying he was some big boxing champion (he wasn't)... No google back then! =)

You'd pay to fight the "champ," if you won you'd get the pay off, if you lost you lost your money and your pride...

I'm sure there was a fair amount of side betting going on as well, making the stakes even higher.

Funny... I remember him telling me how they rigged the fights...

Not only would they rig the rounds (ringing the bell when the opponent was getting the better of my Grand dad... And letting the round go a bit longer when he was giving the lickin'...)

Sometimes Grandpa said he would sand bag or fake that he was more tired or beat up than he really was to drive up the side betting.

Then...WHAM!

One of the things that they did to further ensure that the odds were in their favor was that they would give the unsuspecting challenger 18oz gloves, whereas Grandpa had 6oz that looked the same as the others...

And the cherry on top were the penny rolls that he held on to inside the gloves to finish the deal.

He had some other interesting jobs flying a crop duster down near the Mexican boarder too... Where he may have been doing more than just crop dusting down there over the Mexican boarder... 

But those are stories for another time...


Nice... But How Does That Relate to Our Subject?!


You may be thinking...

Thanks for the interesting family stories...

But how do they relate to the topic of more skill equaling better ethics?

Well, both my Dad & Grandpa were confident men who knew how to stand up for themselves and had the physical skills and experience to do it.

They also lived lives filled with adversity and consequence, where they chose to sacrifice of themselves to protect their families...

Where did they pick those values up from!? To be honest, I don't know... But, I suppose mentors that they had in their lives...

Regardless... They taught me those same values less by what came out of their mouths and more by how they Lived their Lives.

And... I've been trying to follow their lead for 48 some years now...



Men of Few Words...


My Dad was a man of few words... My Grandpa... not so much... He was a sparkplug...

Regardless, both were men of action where words, however many or few had better be backed up w/action. When either of them said something, they meant it! Which brings us to our Subject and the Communication Tip of the Day...


Don't Say Something You Can't Follow Through With.


If you are tempted to hand out a strong boundary. You know a "Do It Or Else" ultimatum. Don't throw down that Trump Card, unless you're willing and able to deliver on said promise. Empty threats are only as good as someone calling your bluff. Especially if you interact w/that person on a regular basis. Once that person (or people) knows you're blowing smoke and full of hot air, you become a 'paper tiger' and your negotiation leverage is gone, along w/respect and your reputation. 

Which brings us to the skills and being ethical part...

What happens in a debate when the person doesn't have the skill to win the argument, but still wants to have an upper hand?!

That's right, they start 'playing dirty'. Mud slinging, insults, even threats are what typically come next.

It's the same with a physical engagement...

The real dirty tricks come out of desperation. The fear of losing, due to lack of skill, stamina, or superior weapons, tactics, etc.

Business can be the same...

FEAR fuels both (1) Greed (wanting what you want at any cost) and (2) desperation for survival.

When you start down that path of playing dirty or hitting low or "Total War" as a reaction (because you don't have a choice it 'just comes out') rather than a tactic (trained and calculated to be done at the right time for the right reason), it typically leads to ill decisions, regret and the stories we tell ourselves to keep us in the good light of justification...

I did it because...

The more Clear, Skilled and Courageous you are, the easier it is to be ethical. Easier, not to be confused with Easy! There is a lot of weight in the 'ier'! =)

Yes, sometimes people need a good a$$ kicking, but as a last resort, for the right reasons. So, if an ultimatum is necessary and you're the one who is going to be Thor's Hammer, you better be able to...



"Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is..."



Remember...

Living a Protector's LifeStyle is about Living a Better Life! That means you are on a constant journey of personal development... It never ends! 

So, you have to keep developing your Skills. Because, having Clarity about you ethics and finding the space inside of you to be Courageous to do the right thing. Which isn't always the Easy Thing.



All the Best,
~Craig



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