I was eating breakfast. Typical grub. A dozen egg whites and oatmeal. Lots of coffee. Once done, off to the gym. The house had a small 10 inch TV secured up under the pantry cabinet. The news was on. Fox News. Breaking News. A small piece of a plane was sticking out of the building. I thought, what a dumb ass, someone flew their small plane into the building. I drank, cooked and watched. They showed a view of a plane in flight. I thought it was a replay. It was a big passenger plane, not a small plane. I said to myself, ‘I was wrong, it was a big plane, not a small plane…ok…so, how could that—’ The camera angle changed. It was not a replay. It was a second plane. Damn…
Each image throughout the morning grew more surreal and gruesome. None more so than the ones of those who jumped to their deaths rather than burn to one. Still today, none more so.
When I began speaking on college campuses in 2003, I carried around one of the photos of this horror. It was a shot of the burning World Trade Center, a couple, probably strangers, balanced on a window sill, flames roaring behind them, other bodies in view dropping mid-air, certainly struck with indescribable fear, each horrifically stuck in this life-ending bond having to encourage one another to jump to death.
I told the kids I used the image to remind myself that that was a tough decision to have to make, and any I ever have to make will never compare. None of theirs, either. I’d be in prison right now if I’d smacked every punk kid who snickered.
That picture sits framed on top of my desk. I look at it every morning. It reminds me. It makes me somber. It makes me appreciate. It makes me cringe. It makes me angry. It makes me care. It inspires me. It gives me courage. Still, since that day, no tough decision I’ve had to make compares. All my life, I imagine, never.
You know, it’s easy to have big balls when you are 20, 30 years of age. It’s another thing to have that big balls attitude, confidence, courage, audacity, assertiveness and aggressiveness into your 50, 60, 70, 80, and 90′s.
Based on a few hundred whining and complaining responses to my last post on insurance and my typical Warrior-stern emphasis on self-reliance, I have to wonder if some of you mens’ wives don’t often wonder if they are laying next to another woman at night instead of the man they believed they married. Take my advice: you want to impress (or try and get the sympathy of) someone hell bent on getting the most out of every day of their life, don’t write and tell them you were a real stud in high school and wore a letter jacket all weighted-down with pendants all three years of high school but you’ve let yourself go over the last 20 years and starting to feel and see the sorry-ass effects of having done so.
Today’s Labor Day. So how about subjecting yourself to some?! Get up off your ass, get outside…get out and give yourself a gut check. Maybe you’ll be fortunate enough to tear a muscle or two. These kinds of incredible, wonderful pains have a tendency to remind you that you are still alive. When you’ve had enough — which will be way, way before what your body and mind can actually handle — stand there, between your short, wheezy breaths and fear of heart attack, and ponder whether or not letting your physical self go all to hell all these years is really worth all the other comforts and securities you’ve acquired in your life.
If you say no, you stand a good chance at getting your big balls attitude back. If you say yes, you’re destined to live out the remainder of your days thinking, believing and acting tiny.
“Youth is not a time of life – it is a state of mind. It is not a matter of red cheeks, red lips and supple knees. It is a temper of the will; a quality of the imagination; a vigor of the emotions; it is a freshness of the deep springs of life. Youth means a temperamental predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over a life of ease. This often exists in a man of fifty, more than in a boy of twenty. Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years; people grow old by deserting their ideals.” – Samuel Ullman
Your Founding Father of Ring Intensity,
“The Greatest Good to the Greatest Number will obviously be reached when each individual of the greatest number is doing the greatest good to himself.”
“Individualism has the strength to resist all attacks.”
Rose Wilder Lane
The health care situation is interesting. I’ve a few thoughts…
The vigorous opposition to more government in our lives is a good thing. Several intelligent, limited-government voices not pulling any punches are getting through, connecting and being heard. The genuine instances of this are inspiring.
About the rest, I have to to be honest, I find it all disingenuous and none of it inspiring. More…
You’re doing well….I know you are.
In my April 1 post I listed the general philosophical things I do to live a productive, healthy, positive, and happy life.
Some of you wrote and said you don’t grasp the significance of what I meant by telling you that I remind myself what I am, a human being. You don’t understand what I mean by telling you to keep this foremost in mind, or how doing so is going to do anything to help you with creating change in your life or help you handle negative circumstances you are, right now, contending with.
I’m not surprised anymore by the ignorance. I was for a long time. For years, whenever I’ve been asked for a bit of inspiration or life advice, I always end and begin with telling the individual to concentrate most on what they are, what abilities and potential this thing they are has, and that what they are makes all things possible. Rarely does anyone get the significance of what I mean. Unfortunately, there is greater evidence than my own personal experiences to prove it. The multimillion (maybe Billion) self-help and self-improvement industry is subsidized by people’s inability to grasp the importance of focusing on what they are, too. Aside from all the various and different practical tricks and gimmicks each uniquely styled and flamboyant peddler includes in the products they produce, there is one fundamental condition in evey single one of these products that the user must meet, yet the majority fail, time and time again. This condition is grasping what it means to be what you are and realizing that at some point and time “help” and “empowerment” depend on “self.” Only you can help and empower yourself, and you do that by understanding, using and putting into action the human being that you are.
The human being is the rational animal. Being the rational animal means you have a mind capable of rationality, which means you have the faculty of “reason,” which gives you the capacity for intelligence to figure things out about yourself, other people and the world you live in. It gives you the ability to understand and be understood, acquire and learn knowledge. Reason gives you the capacity to act in accordance with reality, gives you the power to distinguish truth from falsehood, right from wrong, what works from what does not work, and use these judgments to make choices that guide the direction of your life. Bottomline, your mind — your rational mind — is your most basic means of survival.
Before you casually dismiss what I am explaining to you here, because you are unfamiliar with the terms or think it is all over your head, beyond your comprehension, or you think it’s a bunch of philosophical gibberish you don’t need to understand, let me try to get your attention another way.
Do you know that your freedom in this country is derived from this one single idea — that you are a rational animal? Is that simple and important enough to get your attention? I thought so.
Where in the Declaration of Independence it states that “all men are created equal,” what do you think that means? How are all men created equal? We — all men — are created equal by virtue of the fact that we are all created as rational animals. That’s it. Nothing else. That is the one single thing that makes men created equal. The Founders didn’t put “all men are created equal” in the Declaration just because it sounded good. They put it in there because it means exactly what I am telling you it does.
So, now that you know, what is it you don’t understand about that what you are — a human being, the rational animal – is indeed what you do need to depend on first to make your life work, create and change the circumstances of your life. Your mind gives you the power to control the direction of your life. It gives you the sole authority to handle your life.
I think it’s interesting to point out that of all the excuses people use to explain their failings at properly and effectively conducting their lives, no one ever tries to get away with: “I don’t have a mind.” People will defend themselves by claiming, “I lost my mind,” I lost control of my mind, and, “I was out of my mind,” but no one tries “I don’t have a mind.”
Remind yourself what you are. Over and over. Toward thinking, knowing and believing how you can, there is nothing more important. Nothing.
Hellfire Motivation Unto Glory by George
“They stood in a circle about the ox and took up the scattering of barley; among them powerful Agamemnon spoke in prayer: ‘Zeus, exalted and mightiest, sky-dwelling in the dark mist: let not the sun go down and disappear into darkness until I have hurled headlong the castle of Priam blazing, and lit the castle gates with the flames destruction; not till I have broken at the chest the tunic of Hektor torn with the bronze blade, and let many companions about him go down headlong into the dust, teeth gripping the ground soil.” The Iliad, HOMER
The final sands are running through the hourglass timed to proscribe or prescribe the fate of War.
American soldiery is perched on the borders of Iraq, preparing to kick some ass.
Time for Motivation. Going to a place within yourself, drumming up all the readiness, rage and explosiveness it takes to do what has to get done. Like morality and integrity, motivation cannot be half-assed. You have to know and believe that you are the best and that each other one striking out to stand atop your mountain is your enemy. Being able to do that is more important than even the skills one has. Being Unconquerable.
I salute all of you. My prayers are with you. Godspeed. Think kill or be killed. Think destroy or be destroyed. Take no prisoners. Every one of your American lives is worth more than the entire population of Iraq.
Here is Motivation from one of the greatest warriors ever to serve in American military.
*What follows has language within it fit for war*
General Patton arose and strode swiftly to the microphone.
The men snapped to their feet and stood silently. Patton surveyed the sea of brown with a grim look.
“Be seated”, he said. The words were not a request, but a command. The General’s voice rose high and clear.
“Men, this stuff that some sources sling around about America wanting out of this war, not wanting to fight, is a crock of bullshit. Americans love to fight, traditionally. All real Americans love the sting and clash of battle. You are here today for three reasons. First, because you are here to defend your homes and your loved ones. Second, you are here for your own self respect, because you would not want to be anywhere else. Third, you are here because you are real men and all real men like to fight. When you, here, everyone of you, were kids, you all admired the champion marble player, the fastest runner, the toughest boxer, the big league ball players, and the All-American football players. Americans love a winner. Americans will not tolerate a loser. Americans despise cowards. Americans play to win all of the time. I wouldn’t give a hoot in hell for a man who lost and laughed. That’s why Americans have never lost nor will ever lose a war; for the very idea of losing is hateful to an American.”
The General paused and looked over the crowd. “You are not all going to die,” he said slowly. “Only two percent of you right here today would die in a major battle. Death must not be feared. Death, in time, comes to all men. Yes, every man is scared in his first battle. If he says he’s not, he’s a liar. Some men are cowards but they fight the same as the brave men or they get the hell slammed out of them watching men fight who are just as scared as they are. The real hero is the man who fights even though he is scared. Some men get over their fright in a minute under fire. For some, it takes an hour. For some, it takes days. But a real man will never let his fear of death overpower his honor, his sense of duty to his country, and his innate manhood. Battle is the most magnificent competition in which a human being can indulge. It brings out all that is best and it removes all that is base. Americans pride themselves on being He Men and they ARE He Men. Remember that the enemy is just as frightened as you are, and probably more so. They are not supermen.”
“All through your Army careers, you men have bitched about what you call “chicken shit drilling”. That, like everything else in this Army, has a definite purpose. That purpose is alertness. Alertness must be bred into every soldier. I don’t give a fuck for a man who’s not always on his toes. You men are veterans or you wouldn’t be here. You are ready for what’s to come. A man must be alert at all times if he expects to stay alive. If you’re not alert, sometime, a German son-of-an-asshole-bitch is going to sneak up behind you and beat you to death with a sockful of shit!” The men roared in agreement.
Hello warriors. Culling through some Classic Warrior posts from the past and came across a stockpile of Iraq War commentary I wrote. In memory of the brave, great, patriotic lives of all those who have fought for our freedoms I thought it would be fitting to post excerpts from those, here and now, for another read…
“War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.”
John Stuart Mill
I wonder what it is like to be on the ship when those guns go off? I would love to strap a Liberal (or CON-servative – added 06.06.07) to those 16″ barrels! Better yet, strap a liberated-at-the-cost-of-many-an-American, mealy-mouthed Frenchman to them! Pâté anyone?…truly the only kind of guts you could ever get out of a Frenchman anyway.
(*UPDATE: Turns out I was wrong about that being the only way to find guts in a Frenchman…my sources tell me they carried out the experiment and there were no guts. None.)
The United States going before the United Nations to seek approval is like me asking the bum on the street for approval to do what I need to do to make my life work. It used to be that when someone wanted to know how to do something right, be the best at what they had their mind set on achieving, they would go and seek guidance from the best.
America is the best. America is its own mentor. Because it is…it should not be asking third world thugs what it should do. The United Nations is a disgrace to humankind. They have never stood for, or up to, anything. America should airlift it in its entirety, along with every single subhuman employed by it, and unload ALL the waste along with the first dropped bomb we unload on top of Iraq.
My beautiful little daughters, Indiana Marin and Mattigan Twain Warrior, showing their respect and reverence for those courageous human beings who’ve put their own lives on the line to protect and secure our American freedoms.
Thoughtful and soul-full day yesterday visiting the National Cemetery here in New Mexico.
Each Memorial Day we stop by with our girls for the fly-over and to pay our respects, let our little Warrior patriots bring a smile to a few faces, some tears to more than a few eyes. Nothing melts the tough, somber and worthy soul of a veteran more than the twinkle of a little girl’s eye and a soft and tiny voiced, “Thank you, sir, for your service.”
The winds were really stout and almost all the little headstone flags were uprooted and scattered about the grounds. Indy and Mattie, bothered by the sight of it all, encouraged their parents to spend the better part of the afternoon sticking them back down in the dirt, their tiny hands on top of ours as we all pushed. Indy ask me, “Daddy, who would do such a horrible, dishonorable job at this? After all, these soldier’s burial places are sacred.” I told her the Boy Scouts (who they get to perform the task). She called them “sissies,” figuring that “any boy, Boy Scout or not, should be tough enough to stick these little flags down in the ground deep enough so they won’t fall down, no matter how hard the wind blows.” It was hard to disagree. Besides, as a father knowing my future is going to be trying enough when it comes to beating back the boys (any boys not just Scouts), I like their simple “boy=bad” logic and, for now, will just leave it as it is. The longer they think ALL boys are bad, the longer I’ll have peace of mind. Anyway, here’s a picture of them deciding on their own to say a final goodbye before we left the cemetery.
Peace of mind isn’t exactly what I got when I gazed up through the headstones of over 41,000 interments set up the steep New Mexico hillsides in perfectly aligned rows. Standing in a National Cemetery on Memorial Day while the fence-sitting chaos, ongoing turmoil and American death in Iraq continues doesn’t give me any peaceful thoughts. The unrest weighed even heavier when I thought about that earlier in the day, before we came down to the cemetery, I got to experience the excitement and pride of watching my own daughter, Indy, ride her bike for the first time without training wheels, and now, here I was staring at the fresh gravesite of a young soldier killed in Iraq who will never get to experience the same joy.
The failed leadership and moral cowardice of this country’s elected officials, including President Bush, is abominable.