I have a couple different “phrases” that keep me sane and put things in perspective. One of my favorites is this: If you want to lose your faith in the future of humanity, try directing traffic for a couple hours.
Another one I really like: Never let the comments bother you.
This applies to the world of the internet in which we all live. The information superhighway (bet you haven’t heard that term since Al Gore invented it) is truly a double-edged sword. We now have access to pretty much all the world’s accumulated knowledge and the amount of digital data humans create grows exponentially with each passing year. But that does not mean all that data is accurate and vetted. Some of what is said makes no sense at all. But people still have the right to say it.
This topic pops up from time to time because I live and work in a world of divergent opinions that are spread rapidly by things like social media sites and email servers. I both love and hate this. I love the fact that people can search for and gather up many different opinions very quickly. I hate the fact that some people operating in this realm go totally off the deep end if they see something with which they don’t agree.
Hence the warning: Never let the comments bother you.
Anyone reading my work over the past 25 years will know that I have never claimed to be all-knowing. I have, over those years, amassed some pretty good experience. That experience has led me to some conclusions that I will back up by citing my experiences. But I have never in all this time said my way is the only way. Well, there may be couple of exceptions when it comes to some basic ideas like the fact that for a bullet to hit its intended target, the muzzle must be pointed at that target.
I look at self-defense as the most personal of training activities, because your life depends on it. If you choose to protect your life in a way other than I suggest, who am I to tell you differently? I can cite my training and my experience and suggest you at least try the methods I present. But if those methods don’t work for you, then you must find another way, because, again, your life depends on it. I may not be able to find that other way for you.
We can discuss all sorts of options and reasons why you think what I have to say won’t work. But know this: I take this job very seriously. The amount of trust that has been placed in me is truly humbling. As I try to live up to that trust, I work very hard to learn as much as I can from the best teachers in the nation. Even so, I’ve been to classes where I came away thinking, “Well, that’s not for me.”
Those classes still provided me with ample education, because now I know what I am not going to do and that is just as important as what I’m going to do. So when it comes to The Great Internet Debate of 2017, know this: Before we publish anything here at the USCCA, we check it out. We question it. We question who wrote it. We question the intent and, if at all possible, we test to see if the statement makes sense. Then, and only then, will we offer that information to our readers as an option for their self-defense training. Read that again: “…as an option.”
We are not dictating how you must protect yourself. We will read your comments. We will consider your input. We may agree or we may disagree.
The goal here is to gather and disseminate the best information we can find. I’m confident this team is doing that.
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