Friday, October 16, 2015

No more, "No More Mr. Nice Guy"

I used to be such a sweet, sweet thing
'Til they got a hold of me.
I opened doors for little old ladies,
I helped the blind to see.
I got no friends 'cause they read the papers.
They can't be seen with me and I'm gettin' real shot down
And I'm feeling mean.

No more Mister Nice Guy,
No more Mister Clean,
No more Mister Nice Guy,
They say he's sick, he's obscene.
I had a conversation with an old friend of mine from our years in the military. He is no longer in the military and neither am I. We were talking about the time we were in that often we weren’t very nice guys. We talked about the way we acted and came to the conclusion that it had to do with the job and the training. That is not an excuse. We both made choices and they were our choices, no one forced us to be that way. But the cause was the constant ruthlessness that was being pounded into us. When you must take another human beings life it is not normal or natural. To do so without feeling would be impossible. I do understand that killing can be a very addictive behavior that can turn normally good people into a form of monster.
Years ago my Mother sent me all of my Dad’s military pictures from his time in the navy during WWII. I noticed that his ship was one of the many ships that went into Japan after the surrender and he had pictures of it. On the back of the pictures my Dad wrote comments about each picture. Moving a large ship into a harbor can be a dangerous thing. So, the Japanese put a soldier on board my Dad’s ship to help guide it into port. He had pictures of the soldier and on the back he describes the soldier as the “Nip soldier”. My Dad taught his children that calling anyone a name was wrong, but especially words that are racially offensive. When I asked him about it years before he said, “Son, it was war. In war you must demonize the enemy or you will be killing fathers and sons, good people who just want to live their lives.” Years later I am training to kill “rag heads”. It is something we must do as humans to justify killing a fellow human being.
I have the same feelings at times like the Alice Cooper song “No more Mr. Nice Guy”. Like the lyrics at the beginning of this post I consider myself a nice guy. I consider myself a Christian trying to live a Christ-like life. As a Mormon, we try to emphasize Christ and His mission of atonement here on this earth. So how can I train to kill someone? That’s the exact opposite of Christ’s teachings. It does seem that Christ’s teachings center around peace, but He did understand the need for defense.
If you’ve ever trained in the military or with law enforcement, you know that everyone is a liar, a cheat, and would kill you for nothing. They are the enemy. That can turn a “sweet, sweet thing” into a not nice guy.
You must fight this. You must be realistic and know that everyone out there is not trying to get you. It’s a form of paranoia. It can ruin your life or at the very least, relationships. Relationships with your spouse and your children are the most important relationships you can ever have. They are more important than the brotherhood relationships that you have with your “brothers in arms”. If you didn’t learn that quick, you could be in a world of hurt later on.
Training for self-defense is similar but not quite as intense. You are training to kill another human being. I’ve been to gun ranges that won’t let you shoot “human-like” targets. I think that’s a politically correct way of trying to keep liability off your doorstep. I guess they don’t think anyone is training to kill, even though defense is not necessarily killing. But if you have a hard time thinking that you may very well have to kill, don’t carry a gun. You will hesitate if there is a doubt that you can kill. You may be able to choose not to kill, and that’s what separates you from the animals. You can make a conscience effort to not become cold, and judgmental.
When I was a Bishop I had a counselor who worked in intell in Customs. Because of the nature of his work he was becoming a cold dude. I finally had to take him aside and tell him what he was becoming and what he was doing to his family and others. To his credit, he recognized his direction and changed it.
There is a quote from General James N. Mattis, Marine Commander of US CENTCOMM:
“Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.”
That is our challenge. To not let our training, our job, our past experiences affect us as a father, a husband, a citizen, a priesthood holder, a Christian. But to be prepared.
If you are in combat that is very difficult. The same goes for law enforcement. Be extra vigilant if you are in these situations. As a concealed carry holder you may be faced with killing, but you are not duty bound to kill. You can run away if you want to. Combat and law enforcement won’t allow that.
My dog bit me on the leg today.
My cat clawed my eyes.
Ma's been thrown out of the social circle,
And Dad has to hide.
I went to church incognito.
When everybody rose, the Reverend Smith,
He recognized me,
And punched me in the nose, he said.
No more Mister Nice Guy,
No more Mister Clean,
No more Mister Nice Guy,
He said you're sick, you're obscene.
You can be prepared and still be a nice guy. The world is not as bleak as your training tells you. There are good people out there and not everyone is trying to harm others. But be vigilant, because Mr. Evil is out there. He would like more than anything for you to be asleep. A sheep.
It’s possible to be prepared to fight Mr. Evil and still be Mr. Nice Guy. It takes effort and discipline. So don’t let No more Mr. Nice Guy take over your life.
Semper Paratus
Check 6