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Update: Comic Con and Next Week’s Seminar!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 19, 2013 by full1mpact

comicon

Hello, this is just a quick update about what is going on with Full 1mpact right now.  It is currently the season for Comic Con.  And we’ll be covering what we can for the short two days we’ll be there.  Usually we’re there for the full event but we have a lot to prepare for next week.

Just to fill you in, we’ve covered Comic Con before and given advice on everything from convention etiquette to enjoying your inner geek.  Which is what Comic Con is all about; enjoying that inner fun that you remember enjoying when you were a kid.  Embracing your inner hero, and riding off into the sunset when it is all said and done.  We hope to give you a good amount of pictures for those of you who couldn’t attend this year.

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So what is it we’re preparing for that is next week?  Kill the Boy II Series.  This series dives deep into the psyche and habits of both men and boys.  How boy-man/punk habits can be destructive and are the dividing line between boy behavior and true, mature,  masculinity.  This is what started Full 1mpact to begin with.  This is the meat and potatoes of who we are and what we are about.

If you missed Part I, we will catch you up in the beginning, but we still urge you to come nonetheless.  No matter what gender because what we are discussing is genuinely informative.  I often hear the objections from other males about going to a “men’s group,” and comments like, “Well I’m pretty good, I have my life well figured out,” or “Why do I need another man telling me how to live.”  Let’s be honest, quite often those are defensive objections to the stereotype idea that real men don’t need advice, direction, or coaching.

Everyone on staff here at Full 1mpact knows we will never know all there is to being the best we can be.  The great Sam Keen, even wrote in his book, “Fire in the Belly,”; “Any definition of who we are is too limiting.  I should approach myself like a country that will always contain unexplored wilderness and unfathomable seas.  Who am I?  More than I can ever know.”

Growing up I wish I had someone who could have properly showed me the ropes.  Later on when I began to open myself to the vast study of masculinity I began to see I bought a lot of lies.  And maybe still am.  But what if I could create an organization that is about unveiling the truth, no matter how scary or threatening it may seem.  Or no matter how much against the taught norms it may be.  A question I often teach others to ask themselves is this, “What if I believe a lie, about being a man, that is preventing me from a truer sense of self and lifestyle?  And would I want to know what it is if it were true?”  Many guys believe they can find it on their own by just going through life on autopilot.  I know I thought that.  And maybe a few can.  But I admit, I am always willing to know and learn more and willing to teach it to those hungry to be the best they can be at who they are.

The professional athletes have always known a secret that the average world cannot see the need for in everyday life.  We subconsciously separate the playing field believing that it does not apply to the arena or working life we are in.  But it is a lie.  And that secret is the knowledge you can use a mentor or coach.  A common saying we have in Full 1mpact, “Men embrace change and instruction, boys detest it.”  (Which seems to run true so far.)  But more on the mentorship aspect, from the words of Steve Siebold, who is one of the most successful business and professional coaches in the world.

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The World Class is Coachable

Corporate America and entrepreneurs are starting to catch onto something athletes have always known:  if you want to maximize your potential in anything, hire a coach.  Coaching is to performance what leadership is to an organization.  Since human beings are primarily emotional creatures, competent coaches are experts at stoking the fires that burn within – assuming there is already (at least) a small flame.  Coaches can’t create the flame, but the good ones can turn a small flame into a blow torch.  World-class coaches won’t even accept a client if they fail to find a flame inside.  They know the flame is the prerequisite for greatness.  Average people will only accept the amount of coaching their egos will allow. Champions are well known for being the most open to the world-class coaching.  The bigger the champion, the more open-minded they are.  They great ones couldn’t care less about ego satisfaction when it comes to improving their results –all they’re looking for is an edge, no matter how slight.  Their logic behind this is simple:  when two champions go head to head, many times the only thing that favors the winner is a slight edge in thinking, strategy and technique.  All champions look for that one little advantage that great coaching can provide.  –177 Mental Toughness Secrets of the World Class

And with that note!  I will see you next week as we explore the adventure of learning more about true masculinity.

Micah W. Larsen

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Men and Health

Posted in attraction, men, men's health, mentorship with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 9, 2013 by full1mpact

 

About six years ago I reached an all-time health low for myself. Between chronic migraines, joint problems, and back problems, I had also weighed in at the doctor at a high 220 lbs. For me that was big. I knew something had to be done so I picked up an eating lifestyle change that allowed me to drop the weight I needed. Now, this topic isn’t about weight loss so much as it is lifestyle and one supplement in particular that really stuck out to me during my personal change. That supplement is Omega-3.

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During my change I was given a list of must-have’s by a nutritionist who said, “Protein is a must, drop sugar, drop most dairy for a long time, and never, ever…EVER….forget your omega-3’s.” Being the obsessive type that I am, I did research on it. Later on I’d move into the supplemental health and wellness field and do even MORE research on multitudes of supplements. To this day I still research and look into new supplements on the market as well as different vitamins, minerals, and greens that help us in our day to day lifestyle. So when I came across the benefits of Omega-3’s I was astounded.

Before I get into the why’s and how’s I want to answer a question many of you are probably asking, guys mainly, and that is, “What does this have to do with men’s development and/or being a man?” Easy. Men take care of themselves. Men, real men, are aware of their health and possible future health problems. I’ve heard many times that “Real men groan and avoid the doctor and just never go if possible.” This is a lie because “real men” know the power of health, life, and being around for their loved ones. It’s as simple as that. In fact, of the three hundred plus women I interviewed on “What you’re attracted to in men;” Many said that men who take care of themselves send a clear message that he is capable of taking care of her too, if need be. And men who don’t take care of themselves send another message entirely. That he may put her in position to play mom to him.

With that said, back to this Omega-3 thingy. Most of you have heard a thing or two about it, Dr. Oz has talked about it, I don’t know how many times. My brother, the doctor, has prescribed it for patients as well. But what really makes this a big deal? Why is this must have? And in my opinion, despite many popular claims, this is really an overlooked supplement. Especially in the sports nutrition field, it isn’t really marketed at all. You see ads for proteins, pre-workouts, and post-workouts with sexy sculpted people on the package. Not Omega-3’s. You see fish. This should be the sexiest product of them all! Why? Well because of the benefits of course!

What is Omega-3? It is your essential fatty acid that your body uses for a multitude of reasons I’m about to get into. As opposed to your Omega-6 and 9’s, your body cannot make or provide Omega-3, so it must get it from a food source. The best source is through fish or flaxseed. But mostly fish. Fish oils at the store have a concentrated amount with the metals of actual fish filtered out. Omega-3 is comprised of DHA, EPA, and LA that help tremendously with your body’s needs.

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Let’s go to the benefits:
1. Brain health: DHA in the fish oil is critical in the help of brain function. I could write a book on the benefits of brain health alone. Helps with memory, keeps your brain from oxidization, levels out your hormones, levels out mood and the feeling of well-being. High levels of DHA are also prescribed to children with various levels of autism, ADHD, and other disorders. There are a multitude of tests done on cognitive response, memory capacity, and lowering levels of brain inflammation because of DHA use.
2. Lowers your Cholesterol: The polyunsaturated fats have been shown to lower triglycerides in patients and people suffering from high cholesterol which, in turn, lowers the chances of heart disease.
3. Omega-3 the Natural Anti-inflammatory: It’s been shown to slow down, if not stop the inflammatory response in the human body. Inflammation of the brain, body, and other areas. That inflammation can damage muscle tissue, brain tissue, and other soft tissues leading to arthritis, joint problems, and a plethora of mental disorders.
4. Joint problems: Again the anti-inflammatory response Omega’s have helped with joint issues.
5. Eye health: The EPA is known to help with eyesight and overall eye health.
6. Fish Oil with high levels of EPA and DHA will do your taxes for you and save you money. Okay maybe not that. But having better health is something your health insurance provider will appreciate. As will your lack of medical related bills.
7. Cardio: EPA and DHA helps with overall heart health and the prevention of heart disease.

So there you go; seven benefits of Fish Oil with high Omega-3 from just off the top of my head. There are hundreds of articles, research tests, and lab results that are open to the public if you want to put my claims to the test. The benefits are worth reminding yourself that your health is important to you.
But before you go out and just buy any old fish oil, just know not all fish oils are created equally. There is a LOT of rubbish out there. So here are just a few things to note before you go out and buy any market brand fish oil.
1. Know your label. Just because it says 1000 mgs of Omega-3’s, doesn’t mean it is the essential parts you need. Your key is these next set of letters; EPA and DHA. If it is not specific to the amount of each in your fish oil or Omega-3 supplement, put it down. Then walk away. There are even companies being sued now because of low quality fish oils, stating on their label its 1000 or more mgs of Fish Oil. Well it is, but not the EPA and DHA that is beneficial. It’s basically the fish eye and gut juice that have no benefit except to smell and taste fishy. (Which isn’t really a benefit)
2. Know your companies. If the brand name or manufacturer is Kirkland, RiteAid Brand, GNC, Solaray, Nature’s Bounty, Costco Brand, Kmart, Target, Walgreens, TwinLabs, Vitamin World Brand, Wal-Mart Brand, or CVS Brand (ANYTHING RETAIL BRAND); put it down right away. Those are just examples of companies tested and being sued now for high level so PCB’s and Mercury. That is something you don’t want in your body.

Put this one down too!  Not quality.

Put this one down too! Not quality.

Voted worst brand ever.

Voted worst brand ever.

3. Use liquid refrigerated if possible. Many times in the process of making the capsules the DHA and EPA get oxidized and lose its benefit. So now you’re taking a capsule for nothing. Some do, some don’t, but there is no way of telling if your batch of softgels has been oxidized or not.
4. Choose brands that have a great reputation and are pharmaceutical grade. Nordic Naturals they have some of the highest ratings in great fish oils. Garden of Life, NOW Brand, Schiff, Coromega, and Solgar, are some of the best as far as pure quality is concerned.image_27845_450_white
5. If you must use capsules, my suggestion is Nordic Naturals or Garden of Life. Those companies have had impeccable reputations and use the highest standards.
So when you think of your overall health, and consider a form of Omega-3 in Fish Oils this is a somewhat simple guide. If it is for your health you want the absolute best. I hope this was helpful for you in your journey to great health.

– William M. Jeffries.

The Man Myths (c) Misdirection

Posted in arrogance, attraction, confidence, dating, friend zone, inspirational, men's health with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 31, 2013 by full1mpact

 

Years ago when deciding to be a part of Full 1mpact, I envisioned a place where guys could be a part of something where they could grow in a stable environment.  I saw a place that teaches everything from health and sexuality, to true masculinity.  In that vision was a group that decided we would not be fooled by pop-media, nor would we bow down to broken belief systems that are harmful to everyone.  That choice was spawned by my own journey through myths, lies, and half-truths that pepper a boy’s growing up experience.

In that journey I had to literally swim through information and misinformation from one study group to another or from one men’s guru, to another.  But this has never stopped.  Every bit of information I find, I keep.  Good or bad.  The reason is simple; I want to help where I needed help during my life span.  That vision I mentioned?  Yeah, the one where guys learn about real masculinity?  We can’t teach that if we don’t understand or haven’t experienced the triumphs or failures ourselves.  Recently we’ve been going through the Man Myths curriculum, in doing so we’ve had to once again swim through the video guru’s and leaders to find some gold.  In doing so, I’ve stumbled across a myriad of misinformation.  It is no wonder boys have such a misunderstanding as to the steps to manhood.

I going to write about three recent videos I came across while exploring the net on men’s leaders, guru’s, teachers, mentors, etc.  I am not going to mention their name, business, name of company or ministry.  This isn’t to slander them as an individual.  This is also not to do a comparison of us to them.  This is simply to point out some teachings I came across that I believe are damaging.  I believe most of these guys are earnest in their teachings and really believe they are helping.  I also don’t want to give them anymore web traffic than needed if I can help it.  I’m writing this to give an alternate viewpoint.

Video Guru #1:

In the search for helping guys create that spark of attraction with women I had to dig through endless amounts of material form world renown pickup artists to attraction gurus.  Most are misunderstood in the nature of their teachings, but many are just trying to help guys with absolutely rubbish dating skills.  They teach guys who just have no idea where to start but would really like to be with a girl.  Thus bringing me, Guru 1.

The main teachings:  Guru 1 has a huge reputation in the pickup artist community and has even had several reality shows to back up his skills.  He teaches guys scripted techniques on how to talk to women to create the attraction.  Just as important he also teaches perfect body language to project to a girl to create attraction and uses sociological and psychological techniques that have been long considered controversial, despite how effective those techniques might be.  His shtick is that the scripts work and has even had boot camp contests for men, where the guy who picks up a girl fastest with his scripted techniques wins a trip to his mansion and other prizes.

The Issue:  I have read cover to cover, most of this man’s books.  He comes from a place of fierce female rejection and humiliation at a young age when he just wanted to be with a beautiful girl.  So he tries to spare men that same pain.  The issue at hand is that it’s scripted.  I’m not talking pick-up lines or lame jokes, I am talking about well thought out and planned scripts with body language and everything.  As though you are an actor in a movie.  And that is the problem.

Men are taught that this is all they need to know.  Many master the techniques and do very well with the ladies.  There are also blogs about where to go after you’ve gotten her home a few times.  How then do you develop an actual relationship?  You see, the script only teaches you how to create a cardboard cutout of a man, display it, and hope the girl doesn’t see behind it.

As a teacher he hasn’t taught the guys internal steps to great character, how to treat a woman for long-term romance, or how to communicate that direction if that is where your interest is.  In a recent article sex expert, Timaree Schmit, posted; “When Can We Bang?” http://sexwithtimaree.com/2013/01/30/when-can-we-bang/  she covers the importance of a pure line of communication.  Something we’ve also stressed at Full 1mpact.  There is nothing wrong with honest communications about your intentions.

On a side note, as I said previously, I have read this man’s material.  I believe for guys who are just starting to test the waters in talking to beautiful, attractive, women, this is a good way to get their feet wet and actually obtain some confidence to try talking to women using these techniques.  Sort of like a starter kit.  But for guys who want deep game, this shouldn’t by any means be permanent.  Let’s move on.

 

Video Guru #2:

The main teachings:  He believes too many men put women on a pedestal.  (I agree.)  However he also refers to a woman’s attitude when disagreeing with your attempts of “attraction” as a “bitch attitude” and warns against it.  Like Guru 1, he teaches forms of body language that is linked to the sub-conscious and therefore comes across as much stronger and more persuasive, if not purely manipulative.  He often refers to women in derogatory form and is applauded by his audience.

He does side courses on confidence, but it is usually peppered with what I call “comparison confidence” where your confidence is derived from something inferior about someone else.  In his main teaching he makes these three claims:  1. He can get you laid faster than any other teaching guru.  2.  The women won’t know what to do about you. (This I actually agree, but from the sheer shock of offense spewed their way.)  3.  You will learn to be a true Alpha-Male.

The Issue:  Where do I begin?  Guru 2 also comes from a background of deep seeded rejection stemming all the way from his mother, he admits in a video interview from 2004.   His teachings dive straight into the fountain of misogynistic fortitude.  Though he deeply believes he is helping young men get “laid the easy way,” he is constantly teaching from a platform of “Us against Them.”  He constantly degrades women and hints at Rape Culture with his subconsciously persuasive “touch” body language where he has taught that an innocent pat on the butt is okay if it’s done correctly.  Where I come from that can be considered sexual assault.

Putting anyone, (Women, Men, a specific race) in a place of “lesser than you,” helps no one.  It stems from lack of understanding, and reaps destructive relationships.  It also promotes the mistreatment of women and men you see lesser than yourself.  To me, that is bullying and is not an okay attribute.

Guru 2’s Alpha Male Club teachings; A true man never has to compare or prove himself to anyone but himself.  And a supposed “alpha” never has to belittle other men as a way of making themselves as higher status.  There is little I find helpful about Guru 2’s teachings.  The majority is offensive and comes across really manipulative.

Video Guru #3:

The Main Teachings:  This gentleman is a teacher who often teaches in men’s seminars on helping boys become men and does a fairly decent job of pointing out boy behavior that continues into adulthood.  He also identifies the struggle with modern time’s inability to distinctly identify real manhood or masculinity.  Often uses the media as an example of how marketing targets young men in their ads.  “Real men buy this,” or “Real men want this thing,” and then young men go out and buy those very objects in hoping to be “real men.”

He goes into detail about how real men skip adolescents and understand 5 basic sociological changes that move them straight into adulthood.   Guru 3 also teachings men on becoming givers, and not takers and those real men don’t need to acquire large school debts or credit card debts buying toys.  He then calls people out for enabling a long list of unattractive boy behavior.  And those people are mothers, sisters, and girlfriends to these boys.  Because they’re enabling and allowing this behavior.

The Issue:  Though I find myself agreeing on the behavior aspect of his teachings and also the increasing inability of guys to identify what it takes to be a real man, I am afraid that Guru 3 speaks in half-truths.  Though he successfully labels the five major sociological changes boys have made over the centuries that helped step them into manhood, it is taught as, “Do these five things, and you will be a man.” It comes across as though it is just that simple.  But it isn’t that simple, especially when the majority of masculinity stems from the internal, not the external.

When he teaches on boy behaviors that carry into adulthood, he uses a tactic I refer to as shame teaching.  This is a tactic used where you make fun of the people doing the undesired behavior, usually in your audience, explain the undesired scenario, and teach it in a way that shames the people that may have done said behavior.  I’ve seen this style in the corporate world, I’ve seen in done by my own teachers, my peers in middle school when I didn’t go out for a sport, and I’ve done it myself to others.  It is relatively ineffective, and doesn’t give the steps a person needs to improve if they lack the skills or tools.

He preaches on to say men should know their vocation and just go into it without acquiring school debt.  I find this impossible if you believe your calling is a doctor, psychologist, lawyer….the list goes on.  I do not believe most people can pay for extensive schooling with cash, nor do I believe anyone is less of a man for needing loans to finish school.  This has NOTHING to do with masculinity.

Lastly, Guru 3 calls out the guys for their cowardice behavior, their unattractive behavior, and then calls out the people who’ve enabled such behavior.  Moms and girlfriends.  The women of these boys’ lives.  He fails to mention the Fathers role in all of this.  So he solely places the finger on women as the enablers of that behavior in the upbringing of the boy to a man.  This creates a woman dishonoring attitude and a chance to use them as an excuse for such behavior.

Though I will agree that a mom, as a parent, is responsible for raising their own children, the father’s role is just as crucial if not more so in laying out the steps of walking into manhood.  (Which Guru 3 also fails to mention.)  In the hours of shame teaching, making fun of men who have no confidence, and scapegoating the issues; he also fails in giving distinct steps to take to help with any of the issues he has with guys.  He is, however, happy to go on rants at how many of the men in his congregation irritate and frustrate him.

In conclusion, I’ve mentioned these Guru’s as a way of showing us what is out there.  The frightening part is, many men are buying into this in hopes of answering their life long question, “Am I a man?” or, “Will this make me a man?”  Many of the men buying into these teachings are also hurt and looking for a remedy.  In growing up I was bombarded with similar messages.  Filtering through them was and always has been a challenge.  So what is the truth?  We created The Man Myths © to uncover those truths and de-myth the common beliefs.

One of my long time mentors, Eben Pagan, once taught a seminar on teaching useful information.  He said, “As a teacher you can never assume your audience even knows the basics of what you know.  That assumption will not interpret the way you want it to and you will lose your listeners.”  Without practical steps to take, tools, and useful advice one becomes just another opinion on a matter that would probably be useful if had the vehicle to get there.  And that is what we always strive to do at our seminars;  to give you the proper steps to take that anyone can apply to their lives for improvement.  Until next time.

 

William M. Jeffries

Bully, Bully, Bully

Posted in arrogance, attraction, charismatic, confidence, dating, Fear, friend zone, inspirational, men, men's health, mentorship, nice guys, self development, self help with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 4, 2012 by full1mpact

                Lately in the news I’ve been seeing a trend in the headlines on bullying.  It surfaces and resurfaces about every five years.  Every time it resurfaces there are new statistics on kids being bullied, workplace bullying, cyber bullying and so forth.  As of now, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children,  each day it is estimated that 160,000 students refuse to  go to school because of bullying.  That doesn’t include the children that do go back.  The ones that suffer daily. 

                There are more statistics covering suicides related to constant bullying, drug abuse, and other destructive symptoms of being targeted.  As technology grows, then so does the ways in which one can bully.  Cyber bullying itself has gotten some media buzz due to the mob mentality behind it.  How it’s easy to bully when you don’t have a face or have to be in person to issue the verbal abuse.  But what about adults, or workplace bullying?  Is this growing as well as we move into the second decade of the new century?

                What sparked my interest in writing this article in a blog related to men’s development is sort of two fold.  I had first seen the recent news stories on the woman, Karen Klein, who was horribly bullied by young middle school kids as a bus monitor.  The second is myself, being someone who didn’t hit his growth spurt until almost the end of High School and was bullied.  I cannot stand bullies or the nature behind it.  Though I fully understand it.

                Personally I do not believe this is a new epidemic.  Not at all.  Nor do I believe it is “on the rise.”  I believe we are merely being made aware of it.  When I grew up no one talked about it much.  If a kid was picked on to the point his or her parents were involved, then usually the kid would get picked on more.  The kid was literally, in most cases, forced to deal with the cards dealt.  And those who cannot relate, in my honest opinion, were probably never subject to that level of indignity.  Nor were they ever forced to witness it.

                During my first initial journey to understanding my own masculinity I wanted to know everything there was to know about growing and about life.  Everything that I wasn’t taught as a boy.  What was I missing?  I interviewed and documented dozens of men from every background, and various professions.  Firefighters, police officers, doctors, nurses, psychologists, you name it.  Every subject came up from camping and fishing, sex and money, to gambling and vices.  But one topic was common throughout, and that was bullies.  Some were bullied, others were the bully. 

                Listening to these men allowed me to come to terms with my own life.  Having bullied my little brother because I was bullied both at home and in school, I had some weight to remove.   Some men were able to forgive either the bully or themselves.  Others finally snapped and struck back at the bully, allowing themselves a victory in their life.  The feeling of never being bullied again.  Some guys even ended up as best friends with the thug after coming to an understanding.  But what is that understanding?   What caused the infraction to begin with?

                One of the first things in Full 1mpact we teach is identifying boy-man behavior.  The “inner punk” as one person once referred to it.  How do you identify this behavior?  It is behavior that is both destructive to yourself, others, or your personal goals in life.  It derives from fear, lack, and entitlement amongst a few other things.  One of those traits is insecurity.  Dealing with your own personal insecurity.

                We all deal with insecurity on one level or another.  It is how it is dealt with that defines a man as opposed to a boy, or a bully.  In all of my studies most bullies are or were bullied elsewhere themselves.  Like a territorial predator, they feel threatened and lash out.  Or quite simply in order to maintain, what they believe subconsciously as an “alpha status,” they choose someone weaker and a pecking order is established.  Therefore a form of amusement is made and at the cost of another individual.  In the “alpha status” case there is usually a “pack” of bullies, which is much harder to set boundaries once a pack mentality has been established.

                The majority of bullies, (not all but most.) have one level of insecurity or another.  There is an element that they need to appear “cool” and were at some point taught to do so at someone else’s expense.  Here we teach security.  It comes from within, and not at anyone’s expense.  There is no need to lord over another person, to play power games with them or push them around.  Real men have no need to shove their weight around, constantly having to show their might.  There is just simply no need.

                 I’ve seen former bullies talk about the days they harmed other kids, and they are weighed down by guilt many of them.  When I interviewed a Kansas man, I will remain nameless, he looked to the ground and told me of how he used to follow a kid home just to throw the kid in dirt, mud, or dirty snow.  It made him feel good briefly before he went to his hell hole of a home.  This 254 lb, six foot three firefighter and former cage fighter broke into tears and then told me wished he could go back and tell his younger self to chill out.  To knock it off and think straight.

                He also told me he desperately wished he could tell the other guy he was sorry.  I asked if he had seen him since High School.  The firefighter told me that the young man went to Afghanistan to fight and never came home.  The guilt swept him like a flood but then a flash of anger broke out as he told me about how his dad used to beat him, his mother, and his little brother at home.  Now it all made sense.  This was only one of many cases.  Not all have that background, but many do.  Does that make bullying somehow rectified, or understandable, not exactly.  However, it does shed light on the issue.

                Since I was very young I have always had a sense of justice.  People who harm innocence should pay.  Anger will rush through me like a wildfire when I see or hear of men harming women, children being abused, bullies, or any other injustice done to innocent people or those who cannot defend themselves.  It has always been this way, and it will probably never change.  The idea of someone harming a loved one, or children brings out a side of me I hope no one will ever have to witness.  It is that same sense of justice that is inside of the soldiers that keep this country safe.  Or the honest police man or woman who fights daily to protect our homes.  Perhaps it burns in me a bit hotter because of my past, perhaps not.

                When I was younger my grandfather taught me to always stick up for myself.  I was smaller than most boys so this was ample opportunity for bullies to take advantage of me.  By second grade I had my first fight because a young kid pushed me down in front of my friends so I pushed him back.  Yeah he hit me, but I wanted to show him I could stand up for myself.  For the rest of my life I would have to keep getting back up.  This sticking up for myself had gotten me beat up multiple times and a nose break to boot.  Whether it was a kid at school or my step-father in my younger years, I would end up fending for myself regularly.  And yes, it had a very fracturing impact on my life at that time.

                Did this cause me to bully other kids?  Yes and no.  I bullied my younger brother for certain.  Brutally.  I’ve come to terms with this and have sought forgiveness from him and myself.  I still have a hard time forgiving myself.  Other kids?  Never.  And I even found myself sticking up for kids being bullied later, not sure if I’d be the next target but I figured someone had to.  See, someone has to.  Someone has to say something.

                There is no more, “Kids will be kids” b.s. I just refuse to believe it.  It is a lie.  Kids being kids is what has caused countless suicides in America alone because the kids refuse to go on.  I was there.  I remember hating life and wanting to take my own.  What?   You can’t relate?  Have someone tell you that you are worthless, that you amount to nothing, that you are a literal waste of time, money, and space for close to 15 yrs of your life and see how much of that gets in.  What about several people sending that message to you one way or another?  Does that shed some light?

                You see, they need a voice, the bullied.  They need people to stand in the gap or stick their necks out.  And there are people who are starting to do it!  Better late than never.  Does this mean there needs to be violence answered with more violence?  Hopefully not.  However there are cases where the bully has been answered with a royal ass kicking and I’m really not opposed to that.  I hate to say, I’m pretty okay with it.  Would I go back and kick my own ass for throwing my little brother around?  In a heartbeat.

                Casey Heynes had enough.                          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_BdAk7H6Lk&feature=related

                He decided that the buck stops here and stood up for himself.  Good for him.  The bully claims he was bullied himself.  It’s sad, I feel bad to a degree but it is no excuse.  My sophomore year of High School my lifelong bully to that point kicked me square in the back after some words were crossed.  I knew it was coming but I wondered if I was going to get yet another beat down like before.  Like Casey Heynes, I had enough.  I had wrestled for a few years and knew how to do simple take downs, and simple but strong arm and headlocks.  So I did just that, I twisted around and wrapped my bully up in a single arm choke hold and took him to the ground.  I used his own arm to begin choking him out.

                Had my mother not been there to intervene, at that state I was in and in that stage of my life I may have killed him.  I wanted to.  He pulled my hair and punched by back but I felt nothing.  I just squeezed and part of me felt free.  I knew this one would never touch me again and if he did, he’d pay.  Fortunately that chapter of my life is over and the relationship with myself and that bully has been patched and redeemed.  Yes, there are happy endings, but often they have to be fought for.  If there is anything you take from this, anything at all please try to understand the bully is more than likely in pain too.  Though not an excuse it is a reality and more than likely they are being bullied on some level themselves.  And two, be a voice.  If ever someone is being treated unjust, victimized, threatened….anything where they cannot fend for themselves, stand in!  Be the voice! 

                Someone once misunderstood Jesus’ message and told me, “You should just turn the other cheek.” when it comes to bullies.  Well…what if the victim has no cheek to turn.  There is no choice.  They try to turn, but can’t.  Then perhaps you should be that cheek.  Thank you for taking the time to read this blog.  I hope this helps some of you focus and understand where your stance is.

William M.  Jeffries