The more I teach people to fight, the more I wish nobody had to fight anymore.
The world is so full of violence, and so much of that conflict is meaningless. Why can't we move towards harmony? How would we?
I struggle with the idea that in 2016, with all the advances mankind has made, that war is still a thing. Why must the innocent men of my country go kill and be killed by the innocent young men of another country? It's senseless.
Even on a personal scale, I understand that violence is something that explodes unpredictably onto the scene. People are attacked. People are threatened. People are made insecure and scared. Why is this still a thing?
I taught a self-defense workshop for a group of young women this week. We had a heartfelt conversation about feeling safe. They also told me that last year's instructor was a hard-ass, kill-or-be-killed, black-or-white thinker who preached full tilt destruction for anyone they came into conflict with, context be damned. They didn't gain much from that perspective, because it didn't take into account the reality of their situations.
I believe that many in our industry do our clientele a disservice by making them feel MORE insecure. Yes, they need to be aware of risks, and educated about options and best practices. But they need not be tormented by the presence of risks. If a client comes to me worried, I will not pretend that their fears are unfounded, but neither will I amplify them. It strikes me as misguided that someone would do so with the intention of helping, and grotesque that someone might do so as a way of improving business.
One of the participants told me afterwards that she just got her CC license, because she's been feeling paranoid. She asked what I thought of it. I told her that while I've trained with firearms and used to give a neutral "whatever feels appropriate" answer, I no longer advocate firearms to my clients. And it's true: the probability of a gun owner "saving the day" with their CC sidearm is almost nil, while the likelihood of an accident (or suicide, or crime) with that weapon are so very much higher. And neither of these things takes into the account the emotional practice of putting a weapon on oneself as part of readiness to go out into the world -- of acknowledging, DAILY, that one might get into violent conflict and end a life. For civilians, this is no longer something I can recommend.
As teachers who want to encourage other people to achieve greater safety and well-being (physical, mental, and emotional), how can we equip our audience for both the dangers of today's world AND move us all towards a less violent world in the future?
And does anyone else feel this way, or am I the only hippie who is feeling like we don't have the resources to gain any traction towards harmony?