Monday, January 20, 2014

Not Everyone Who Walks On Two Legs Is Indeed a Human Being





"Not Everyone Who Walks On Two Legs Is Indeed a Human Being."

Yes, I have an issue with this statement. It makes me think of what goes through the heads of those people who dehumanize or demonize others to the point of justifying doing terrible things to them.
What's worse is that this statement was taken from a website of a Krav Maga defensive tactics/martial arts school. This type of mentality is like a virus. It has killed hundreds of millions of people and will continue to if left unchecked.

The website goes on to read:

...Our path is always one of non-violence and humility, always seeking peace and to be upright citizens. Regardless, we realize that some among us will try to do harm and violence to us or our loved ones. 

So, let me get this straight, after saying that basically all humans aren't really human, they go on to say that they are striving for non-violence, humility, peace and to be upright citizens... (reading between the lines) however if someone crosses some unclear line then all of a sudden those people are "less than human," insinuating that they can or should be dealt with in a different manner than "our" people, you know, people "like us."

In some twisted way that statement may sound right, it may even feel good on the surface, but in reality it's pretty messed up, unhealthy and creates more violence!

I would like to think that the organization who posted this started with good intentions, however somewhere along the way those intentions got corrupted by fear and confusion. Before they know it, they are teaching people the same dehumanizing perspective that is used by the perpetrators of the violence. The idea that some other people aren't human like "us" lends itself to the justification of the disrespect and violence that can be done toward another person or group. It's a little too easy to begin justifing trying to "out thug the thugs" so to speak. This mentality is a slippery slope that we have to be careful of.




The ethic of Choosing Life is simple, but not easy.

Life is a Universal Value. Meaning that unless something is really wrong with you, you value your life and the life of your loved ones... just like everyone else does. Physiologically speaking it is called homeostasis. Overall, Life wants to live.

You would stand up for yourself if you had to wouldn't you?

Do you have anyone in your life that you would protect?

Is there anyone in your life that you would put yourself at risk for?

Yea, me too...

...and so do the people that we are in conflict with.

Think about it, if we are willing make life a relative value based on behavior or beliefs that you don't agree with or like, then someone else can make OUR life and the life of OUR loved ones a relative value as well based on differences that they have with us. This is the beginning of a big problem.

So, if you believe that "Not everyone who walks on two legs is indeed a human being," you have lots of company with people who would agree with you:

Hitler
Mao
Stalin
Pol Pot
Rwanda
The KKK
Hamas
Al-Qaeda
The thug who is willing to kill you for his next drug fix
(...and many others)

I understand that we want to protect people we love from those who would harm them, but adopting the same dehumanizing value that created the violence is not the answer! We have to separate the Life Value from someones relative behavior and beliefs. It can be difficult to respect the Life Value while professionally and appropriately managing negative and possibly even violent behavior (especially under stress), but as WWII Iwo Jima Marine and former State Department conflict resolutionist Dr. Robert Humphrey says, "It's a better life."

Learn to more effectively Protect LIFE, appropriately deal with the behavior, while respecting the life value. Strive for Most Good / Least Harm for EVERYONE as much as you can.

Keep in mind that most good / least harm doesn't always mean no harm: Sometimes people need to be disciplined, detained, arrested, fired and yes, even killed, but for only one reason: Because their behavior is threatening another life and that we did everything we could to resolve the situation in the least violent way possible for the situation. Strive for the least amount of force necessary to create a safe environment for everyone when possible.

This ethic has to be clarified and constantly reactivated, because it fades. How do we reactivate this protector ethic? Keep training the right things with the right perspective...What perspective? That you are a protector of LIFE!

I think Dr. Humphrey said it best in his Warrior's Creed:

Where ever I go everyone is a little bit safer because I am there.
Where ever I am anyone in need has a friend.
Whenever I go home people are glad that I am there.

It's a better life.


Keep going,
~Craig








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