Using What We’re Good at For Good

Through a series of unfortunate events, surviving two decades in a violent, volatile, crime-ridden neighborhood and one particular incident where I had two guns pressed into my head, I realized something: what is taught and practiced in a dojo, doesn’t really translate to the street.

Reality isn’t so neatly packaged.

For 17 years after the gun thing, I sought out, researched, practiced, studied, read, and trained with some of the scariest, most intelligently dangerous people on the planet.  I formulated a program and taught private clients how to survive violent confrontations.

Real life violence is ugly, brutal, bloody, injurious, fast, painful, unexpected, and mentally, psychologically, and emotionally incomprehensible in real time.  I taught war and I was good at it.

One of my clients, an Air Force Intelligence Specialist, asked me, “What brought you to teach war?”  Hmm.  I replied, “It’s because I love peace.”

And he said, “Then why don’t you teach peace?”  Ouch.

There’s a line in the movie, Hotel Artemis, where Nice (that’s her name), a highly sought-after female assassin says, “You can’t pick what you’re good at.  This is what I do.”

I began to feel that way, until my client’s question.

There’s a thin line between war and peace, love and hate, yin and yang.  Actually, the line is only perception.  There is no physical line, but a sharp transition between the darkness and the light in a continuous swirl, with a bit of one inside the other.  You know the symbol.

Back to Hotel Artemis: When Acapulco, played by Charlie Day, offered to hire Nice to use her dark skills to protect him, she replied, “That’s not what I do”.  What a shame.  Maybe we can’t pick what we’re good at, but we can use what we’re good at for good.

I love peace, so now I teach peace.  Namaste.

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