Why are there so many wussies in the world today? They weren’t raised by Daddy.
I remember asking my daddy why his little toe was crooked when I was a boy. He told me the story of how his parents had warned him about playing with the handsaw. He didn’t listen. At age 10, he just had to experience the forbidden tool. Holding the board with his bare left foot, his bloody lesson followed. With the last push of the blade, his little toe was almost severed. He said it was just dangling by a little flesh. Fearing the wrath of his parents more than the loss of his appendage, he bandaged and taped it back on. My grandparents found out days later and got him proper care…and proper punishment. Are little toes all that necessary?
I can’t remember the number of times I heard my daddy say this to me and my brother after doing something stupid: If you’re gonna be stupid, you better be tough. He’s still passing this wisdom on to his grand kids and great grand kids. Some listen. Some don’t.
Lessons from my daddy were caught more than taught. I ‘caught’ how to weld, solder copper, plumb a house, butcher a hog, shoot guns, drive a tractor, and love my wife by watching him. He knew that every boy needed to cut the apron strings and go through the de-wussifying process (DWP).
Tough times are hard to escape. Uncertainty is best handled with attitude and a little foresight. Every time I’ve found myself in the crucible of life, Daddy’s DWP brought me through the fires a stronger man. Here’s what his DWP taught me about preparedness and self-reliance.
A.) Mental Toughness. I stabbed my first pocked knife into my forearm when I was in Kindergarden. My dad had shown me how to whittle wood under his supervision. Of course, I had to try it out on a piece of wire – unsupervised. No stitches were required. I wanted stitches. The scare would have looked way cooler. My daddy just closed the puncture wound and held pressure on it until it stopped bleeding.
That minor uh oh was a first of many de-wussifying lessons that built mental toughness in me. Over the years I’ve developed a how-hard-can-it-be mentality when learning new skills and building a self-reliant mind-set. Daddy built mental toughness in me through many methods:
- Encouraging me to never quit: Finish the drill.
- Developing a real relationship with God – not religion.
- Sports – so many great lessons came from football and baseball. Playing with bumps, bruises, and pain taught me that my limits are mostly in my mind. Playing with a true injury only hurts you and your team. Know when to take yourself out of the game to recuperate.
- Modeling marriage and family relationships.
- Blue collar work ethic – I apply this to my “white-collar” teaching job. Show up on time, own your work, and do more than is expected.
- Camping, hunting, fishing, and McGyvering stuff.
- He and my mom both overcame difficult childhoods – no silver spooners in my family.
Relying on one’s own capabilities, judgment, or resources is a natural byproduct of de-wussification. Whether battling cancer, a job you hate, or preparing for TEOTWAWKI, developing mental toughness will get you through unexpected situations.
B.) Resilience: From the dictionary: The ability to return to the original form, position after being bent, compressed, or stretched; elasticity. Ability to recover readily from illness, depression, adversity, or the like; buoyancy.
Even after severing his toe, he found a way to return his appendage to original form – almost.
Daddy is a boot strap kinda of guy. He’s pulled himself and our family up by the loop of his boots many times. At age 16 he lied about his age to join the Navy. When he was discharged, he found a trade and mastered it. He was never out of work unless he wanted to take us camping, fishing, or hunting. Before we were born, he broke his back (literally) at work. The crew laid him in the back of the plumbing truck and took him to the hospital. He’s been in constant pain from back surgery for the past twenty years due to scar tissue build up. In spite of the pain, he manages to get the job done.
If you’re not going through hell now, just wait. Life has a way of testing us all. Resiliency is sometimes built through fear. My daddy feared the wrath of my grandmother more than losing his toe. He did something totally unconventional. Reattaching his toe with tap.
Fear is a great motivator. Some fear is rational – some not so much. I’ve actually read about people who are preparing for alien invasions. Who knows. Maybe they’re onto something.
I’ve learned that most of my fears are caused by a lack of knowledge. Fear of the unknown. For years I ran in “running shoes” because that’s what Nike said I needed to reduce my risk of injury. After going Primal, I began to investigate the hype behind shod running. About three years ago, I decided to try running with birthday shoes (barefoot). I had to re-learn everything I thought I knew about running mechanics. Now, even running in minimalist shoes (in cold weather) doesn’t feel right.
Never used a pressure canner, rock climbed, shot a gun, or rode a horse? Overcome your fears by trying something new, unconventional, and unfamiliar for resilience sake.
C.) Think For Yourself. Here’s another wise saying Daddy drilled into our heads: If you don’t use your head, you might as well have two asses. He not only meant for us to think before doing, part of my DWP was learning to think for myself. We are constantly being forced to conform for the good of the group. Individual liberty and freedom be damned. The ruling elites hate individualists and Freedom Outlaws. Living in our “free” country is akin to lying on Procrustes’ bed. Arbitrary standards, one-size-fits-all foolishness breathing down our necks creates an unintended effect for our rogue subduers.
The ideal citizen of a tyrannical state is the man or woman who bows in silent obedience in exchange for the status of a well cared-for herd animal. Thinking people become the tyrant’s greatest enemies. – Claire Wolfe
In Tom Baugh’s book, Starving the Monkeys: Fight Back Smarter, he defines the monkey collective “as a creature who chooses to collectively seize, by unearned means, the property, material or intellectual, temporal or spiritual, or its rightful owner.” Fighting back smarter does not include political solutions. Voting monkeys out of office won’t solve the problem. Nature abhors a vacuum. The State collective possesses a quiver full of parasitic politicians. Withdrawing the meal ticket is the best way to starve the monkey collective. Resist smarter. Read the book.
Either you think – or else others have to think for you and take power from you, pervert and discipline your natural tastes, civilize and sterilize you. – F. Scott Fitzgerald
The most useful tool of de-wussification is located between our ears.
D.) Life Ain’t Safe. I’m encouraged by the recent anti-gun legislation on deck. Over the last month, full capacity magazines, ammo, and semi-automatic guns have disappeared from the market place due to high demand. DRG and I visited our local gun shop yesterday to buy optics for her new-to-her tool. The clerk behind the counter gave a briefing to the gentleman ahead of us on the proposed Feinstein gun ban bill (For info click here or search “hoplophobe hypocrites”).
Being next in line, I said, “Enforcing a gun ban would be like trying to nail jello to a tree.”
He countered from behind the counter, “They enforced the last one.”
“Did they?” was my response.
Pay attention to the we’ll-make-life-safe smoke screen folks. This diversion to give us unattainable safety is just another step towards a complete Police State. The Powers That Be are using the Newtown tragedy to protect us from ourselves and other boogeymen. Logic and reason left the District of Criminals many moons ago. The Nationals don’t want commoners to possess weaponry that might one day be used to equalize their monopoly of force.
In all my years of shooting guns with family, friends, and even strangers, I’ve yet to shoot anyone or taken a round. Not saying it couldn’t happen. That brings up that pesky, unattainable idea of safety. Life is full of risks. I’m not sure if I’ll ever have to exercise my natural right to defend myself or family or property or way of life. What my daddy taught me is that I’d better be able and ready to do so. Millions are clamoring to delegate their safety to the brood of vipers in our capital. Wussification happens. Their security blanket cost too much and ultimately ends in asphyxiation.
What do you choose? Liberty or the illusion of State sponsored “security”?
E.) Ask for help. Many times, even the most rugged individualist needs to ask for help. This doesn’t make you a wussie. It makes you smart.
My daddy’s truck wouldn’t crank one morning. Instead of waking my mom or one of us, he decided to pull his truck up the hill with the tractor, get back in the truck, and jump-start it as it rolled back down the hill. One problem. As he topped the hill, the tow line gained slack and snapped. The truck broke free. He jumped off the tractor to catch the truck, but it was already out of reach. He stood there and watched as it rolled back down the dirt driveway as if he was behind the steering wheel. The truck smashed into a large pine tree in his normal parking spot. An expensive and humbling lesson.
- Build a tribe of trusted family and friends.
- Humble yourself
- Learn from others
- Identify your heroes
- Spend time with non-wussies. Their attitude and skills will rub off on you.
These are a few lessons from my daddy’s crooked toe. In fact, his whole life continues to inspire me. De-wussification doesn’t happen overnight. It’s not a macho thing. It’s a lifestyle built around pushing through the hard times – dealing with stress and anxiety of the unknowns – admitting weaknesses – building strengths.