January 4, 2023

As the world becomes more dangerous and uncertain, there are two kinds of human responses that often surface.  There are those who are so understandably distraught by quickly unfolding events seemingly beyond their control that they throw up their hands in exasperation, fearing that all is lost.  Then there are those who, having recently awakened to the daunting issues surrounding us or having been stewing in their juices for years waiting for others to notice what’s going on, now find a fire in their bellies as an energetic determination takes hold.  I encourage you to find your way toward the second camp.

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It is not that I have unwavering optimism that all will be well; it is that I know that the more of us who accept reality for what it is and then proceed to tackle it accordingly, the more quickly we will achieve our goals.  Even the most demoralized among us know this to be true.  I have never met anyone who says, “And then the Global Deep State will take control and hold all power over the rest of humanity forever.”  Nobody worried about the collapse of the West believes that those doing the demolition will be permanently victorious.  Government tyranny is nothing new.  Evil disguised as part of a false State religion regularly returns.  Loss of liberty and the spread of slavery are regrettably routine.

People are depressed today not because encroaching totalitarianism is succeeding behind the camouflage of the West’s “politically correct,” “we’re all in this together,” “we must protect democracy,” “the planet is dying,” “everything is racist,” manipulative pablum.  They are depressed because they know how much hard work will be required to dredge all this evil hokum from society, liberate the masses, and find victory in the midst of retreat.  It is the size of the gargantuan task before us that is intimidating — not some belief in certain defeat.  Once you recognize that distinction — once you accept that no matter how heavy the load we must bear nor how long the road we must travel, there is a path to success — then the real challenge becomes executing a vision of our better future and not perpetually mourning the burial of our trampled past.  As with many challenges worth pursuing, the most difficult first step is changing one’s state of mind to that of a warrior.

Among writer David Mamet’s considerable achievements, he deftly addresses the warrior mindset in a number of his works.  In RoninSpartan, and the television series The Unit, the master wordsmith delves into notions of honor, duty, perseverance, and sacrifice.  One of his often overlooked gems contemplating these subjects, though, is Redbelt, a film about a jiu-jitsu instructor who teaches his students over and over that no matter the adversity — in combat or in life — there is always an action that will prevent defeat.  Neutralizing any threat requires understanding the given circumstances, choosing the correct response, and executing that response faithfully.  Mamet, who is trained in mixed martial arts and reveals an undeniable respect for true warriors, drops philosophical pearls throughout the film that would resonate with any servicemember, law enforcement officer, or veteran, or anyone else who has been or will be in harm’s way:

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A man distracted is a man defeated.

There’s always an escape.

There is no situation that you could not turn to your advantage.

One rule — put the other guy down.

Who imposes the terms of the battle will impose the terms of the peace.

You control yourself, you control [your opponent].