Archive for Standing up

Stand In The Gap

Posted in charismatic, confidence, inspirational, mentorship, self development, self help with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 17, 2013 by full1mpact

When I was a senior in High School, I ended up having to take an underclassman Algebra class.  Mainly to make up for credits due to some car accident I was in that year that put me in a troubled teen hospital.  But that’s another story.  I hated Math.  At that point in my life I hated a lot of things about school, life, people, and math.

Because my previous class was so close to this particular one, I was always the first there and I’d sit in the back.  I was the only senior in that class and yes, I felt dumb.  I struggled with Algebra and all forms of number issues.  I always remember one kid who’d come into the room shortly after me.  Probably a sophomore or possibly a freshman.   I remember him because he was the poster child for stereotypical nerds.  Big glasses, usually wore slacks, sometimes even a bow-tie..and yes…a pocket protector.  In fact, as I’m writing this article I got out my year book, and there he is, in a bow-tie with his massive glasses.  I guess he was a sophomore after all.

He usually tried to sit near the front and avoid contact with another boy who’d come in fourth or fifth or sometimes right after him.  The other, kid, much larger, would stare him down and go sit a desk or two side-by-side with him.  Never said anything but I recognized the larger boy because he was on the Junior Varsity football team and I had seen him hanging around that crowd a lot.  Seemed decent enough, but the first time I saw him glare down the nerdy boy it struck me as odd.  What could he have possibly against him?

That tiny moment, that predator stare, I recognized it immediately.  I knew it because I remember that being done to me by other people.  The predator stalks its prey, to feel powerful, or better about themselves, or to prove something.  Whatever the case, I remembered that look all too well and it hit something in me.  Like a switch going off.  The predator was so focused it didn’t see the other eyes in the back of the room watching.  Or it didn’t care.  Either way that boy was now on my radar.

A few days passed and nothing ever came of it until later in the week I saw that look in the larger kid again.  Teacher was out in the hall or wherever teachers go for 6 or 7 minutes between classes.  But in he stalked, glaring down at the boy who would even look up.  Then he just stopped, right in front of his desk and stood there.  I knew what the boy sitting there felt like.  This larger, “tougher,” boy just staring you down and you’re on eggshells, processing what to do to not look weak, but not make him upset as to take it out on you.

I watched, eagerly, because of all of the things I mentioned above that I hated…I hated bullies the most.  A violent, sociopathic, non-healthy, sort of hate.  (I had issues, judge as you will.) And as I watched the bully started to say something.  To this day I don’t even remember what he was saying.  I do remember he bumped the smaller kid’s desk with his leg and got all wild-eyed.  The smaller kid answered meekly and was holding his pencil.  I remember because I could see his hand shaking.

I’d had enough and said, “Is there a ****’n problem?”  They both looked up at me shocked.  I hadn’t spoken a word to anyone in that class since the 1st day.  At first the bully had a look like, “who would dare?” then his skin turned pale.  Then he made a statement about how he was just joking around and they were just friends.  Funny how even in High School that excuse is still used.

I wasn’t a big kid, I was very scrappy and still fairly underdeveloped for my age, but at that point I didn’t care much for the rest of my school year.  I begged God above to give me the chance to go crazy on this bully.  Instead the bully sulked over to his seat still glaring at the other boy and muttered something under his breath.  Coward.  I spoke again, “He obviously doesn’t think so, if I ever see or hear of you bothering him again, you’ll have me as a problem.”  He insisted he was joking to which I countered with telling him to shut his mouth along with other colorful words.  From then on, in that class anyway, I was the predator watching his every move, not needing to ever speak again.

Later, after the end of the school year I was at a party at a friend’s house when a girl I had recognized approached me.  She was an upper classman to me when I was still in High School.  She thanked me for sticking up for her little brother.  She then told me how that boy had bothered her little brother from 7th grade until his sophomore year relentlessly.  Teachers never took the parent’s complaints too seriously and the torment would continue. After that little intervention, he never bothered her brother again.  That is all it took.

I bring this up not to pat myself on the back, the world knows I have delivered my share of shame and detestable actions.  I bring this up because I was reminded of this incident today as I read the headlines of yet another kid being bullied.  Anymore you don’t have to look far and we had even written an  about this some time ago.

Recently a boy had asked Santa to bring a Christmas present early.  That present is to stop his sister from being bullied any further.  No longer did he wish for a remote control car or helicopter, but instead to intervene on behalf of his sister.  It has pierced his heart and he no longer knows where to go.  I know many parents are doing their best, but so many questions need to be asked and so many children need to know this is not okay.

bully

How do we begin to stand up for others?  How do we fill the gap?  In our seminars we mentioned how men, true masculine, mature, men, are protectors and defenders of those who cannot fend for themselves.  No matter what race, gender, creed, or orientation.  My grandfather once told me that some courage is standing up for what is right, or for someone else, when no one else will.  I’m not sure how to close this except with one last question; what will you do to fill the gap, to stand for someone else?  What will you do?

M. Larsen

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Violence is Madness, So is Silence

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 1, 2013 by full1mpact

When I first started this article I wasn’t sure where to even begin. Not that there isn’t enough material on the subject of men and violence, but that there is so much that everything sort of crosses over. Full 1mpact© has long been advocates of Amnesty International and strongly opposed against, not only violence against women, but violence towards children as well. We despise bullying and anything that exploits people and preys upon the common person.amnesty_logo

So where to begin? I suppose by just jumping in the pool with the attempt of being heard. As a man against violence towards women and children, and other people. When speaking with another friend of mine about this article and some hang-ups I’d been having he asked if I thought there was ever a time violence was appropriate. I said, flatly, “never.” He then raised his eyebrows and said, “Really? Then why were you a boxer and still enjoy combat sports.” That’s the truth. I love combat sports. I always have. The drama, the victory, the hard work, all of it is exciting to me.

So lets be clear, the violence I am NOT talking about is boxing, MMA, or other combat sports where two trained athletes or fighters are entering an arena knowing full well what they are about to get into. Some people hate even that level of violence. I do not hate it, I very much enjoy it. But that isn’t what I’m writing about here.

The violence I am so adamantly against is one person abusing another person. Abusing by either bullying, sexually abusing someone, verbally, or physically in some way. Part of my frustration is this common belief in victim shaming. The common idea is that the victim must have done something to provoke that behavior. I remember experiencing this first had in Kindergarten.  Without going into heavy detail about my home situation with a step-parent, I went to my teacher. I was five years old. I told her I had been struck, several times. Her response was, “Well, what did you do so that happened?” I’ll never forget the sense of solitude I would carry from that day forward. I would later go on to tell two others who could have done something but did nothing, or had similar responses.

What could a child, of 5 yrs, do to provoke being slammed into a wall or stricken by an adult? The answer is nothing. It is a five year old child. What about women? The answer remains the same. I even had a gentleman once ask me, “What if she a hostile woman and is physically abusive herself?” I answered with, “Why would you stay in any relationship with physical violence? Or any violence for that matter?”

Violence is a choice, ladies and gentlemen. You can act on it, or you can control it. Or you can speak up and get help. Two things work against a lot of victims. One is victim shaming, where somehow the victim is part of this dance. The other is the silence of others who know about it. Either willingly in denial or using the scapegoat of, “It’s none of my business.”  If it is public, it is your business. If you can hear it through your living room walls it is your business. Hearing it is witnessing it. Stand up because you might end up being someone’s guardian angel when they need it the most. I cannot tell you the number of times I wished someone would have stepped in for me.

I also challenge you to support a local charity or a group, like Amnesty International. Which brings me to the next part of this story; As I was clearing my thoughts and going through what material to use I came across an article about a strong girl named Heather and a gentleman, Sir Patrick Stewart. In this clip he is at a fan convention and asked a question aside from his acting, aside from his known role as Captain Pickard. His reaction is that of a true man. One who has not only experienced the trauma in his own way, but is making a stand. And the girl, a lucky Heather Skye; who asked the question and received love, comfort, and reassurance from one human, to another.patrick1patrick2patrick3

Heather, there are those who are championing the cause, as we all know you are. Lead on and never stop. Men, you must also lead by example to your fellow man. Stick up for those who cannot stick up for themselves. Step in, speak up, speak out, and cover those who cannot cover themselves. It is a thankless job at times, you will be challenged, but you will never regret standing in the gap for those who cannot stand for themselves.

Heather’s own words from her blog.

With that said, please enjoy the media and live strong.

M. W. Larsen