Let’s have a discussion and explore some thought exercises around your own personal capacity when it comes to survival and reality.
The other day I was overhearing a discussion between some colleagues, they were talking about how ‘they would kill in a situation where their children were starving and needed to get food for their children’.
Their sentiment is certainly in the right place and I think any father can relate to that feeling, but realistically I question these men and their own personal capacity and understanding what it is they were talking about.
Given the circumstances of extreme poverty, of economic collapse or society breakdown, as crazy as it may sound, let's reflect on our own capacity as men and have some internal dialogue about whether or not we would have the capability of going to that extreme.
If you're part of my Close Quarter Dad Program, then you've already been introduced to the principles of Decision Skip and the Ethical Freeze. The Decision Skip happens is a situation where you are faced with something that you don't quite understand. You don't have a good read on the situation and you keep asking yourself, ‘well what if, well what if, well what if? Well what if?’ … it's like a skipping record over and over and over again.
A person will get there because they don't have proper intelligence of the situation, or possibly they lack in experience. Perhaps they've never been indoctrinated to the situation before and they start looking for reasons or excuses to avoid the necessary choice. They are not freezing, they are skipping.
Ideally, they must perform in these situations as a concise decision-maker and taking action with immediacy.
The second is the Ethical Freeze. This is when you are frozen, you’re ethical framework prevents you from acting with immediacy on the threat. For whatever reason, you simply cannot pull the trigger.
As I was listening to these men go on about their exploits in a fantasy world, I began to consider, ‘do these men have what it takes in a situation like that to be able to understand how to function, how to operate?’ God forbid there's a situation where they must go to whatever means necessary to provide food for their children, what makes them think it’s going to require the extreme of killing? Have they even considered the many other possibilities given the conditions they live within?
Why isn't it going to a place of being able to barter or being able to steal?
Why isn't it prostituting yourself or one of your children considered?
Sounds nuts, but in those circumstances is may come to this level of demand, are you willing to go there? Don’t know? … Exactly
Why did their discussion go all the ways to the point of killing another person? Possibly it’s because we're so indoctrinated to the act of taking a life through entertainment, through media.
What about asking, ‘do I have the capacity to be able to protect my family before killing someone for food is even considered?’ Because that's reality and those men certainly didn't have it and therefor would quickly steer from the answer they already know the answer to. It would be uncomfortable for them had I asked that.
Had they studied this topic just a little bit, they would understand how the community, a band of people who must come together for preservation purposes, for continuity purposes are what is needed to be able to protect each other from marauders. And in the situation they were talking about, guess what … ?
What happens when you must get what you need through a black market or the underground, where food just is not readily available or food is being maintained by a group with complete control of supply lines?
What happens if it does come to a point that is otherwise, quite common in many parts of the world, where propositions of prostituting yourself, a loved one, or be forced to submit something unthinkable in exchange for survival resources?
I feel that if you're going to be that guy around the barbecue who boasts, "Well, I'd kill someone if my children were starving." Maybe so, but I want you to think, what other uncertainties could happen in a situation like that, such as demands being made on you by a group of militants or gang who can quickly overpower you - so that you and your child can actually have access to water and bread for now?
And what actually happens before this last resort situation, where you have to kill someone for food for your children?
Where are you at that point?
Where is your mind?
What have you already gone through?
What level of fatigue is your body going through right now, blood sugar, lack of sleep, depression or overexposure to the elements?
Where are you and will your body actually be able to function at a level where you think you can take another person's life without decision skipping or having an ethical freeze?
Have you ever done been in this type of situation before?
And then what happens afterward, the trauma, the playback, the nausea, the fear?
What happens when this becomes the norm, when you become so complacent with the action it’s now something that's expected?
Maybe these are questions you can put off until it actually happens, but can you really? I understand it's a dark topic, but the reality is, so many men like us go around having these fantasy discussions when there's a valuable opportunity to explore our own personal capacity as a father, as a man, as a protector, as a guide, and as a guardian of our children.
I invite you to do your own research, understand what happens before, during, and after such a highly stressful, last resort scenario such as these men were sharing. Research the variables that could surround each one of those stages of any situation that demands extreme measures to survive.
Hopefully this article has inspired you to think things through more deeply, rather than just at the superficial level.
The next time you hear these superficial discussions, share the questions I challenged you with in this article, make them exercise their thoughts on survival and their individual capacity.
JUNE 28TH, 2019
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