Friday, September 28, 2018

The United States of Hysteria.

What dismay in the Tavern. I had to remind people of the positives. Tavern customers have been focused on the awful circus that has been going on in America where the media clowns have been egging on the sharp-clawed beasts in the arena tearing at the Character and history of a sacrificial Juggler. The 'Confirmation' Hearings of a potential Supreme Court Judge have confirmed all the worst and dismal ideas that those looking at America from the distance often entertain.

It has not been a pretty sight. 

But it has been instructive.

" Not my fight, mate", said someone. "I ain't a Yank"

That just ain't good enough though.  We Anglophile nations and peoples all have skin in this game.

Think Habeus Corpus: Magna Carta: Innocence until Proven Guilty.

Cast aside for the moment the Political division between the various Parties. We have been astonished at the much deeper moral division.  Disregard the national 'perspectives' and the biases of say, the Oz ABC and of course the British BBC. There are Fundemental issues at stake. 

There is not just an Abyss apparant, but we are seeing Beasts crawl out of it.

And they froth at the mouth.

The Victim in the arena is one Brett Kavanaugh

The 'ishoo' is a fear that when he gets to the Supreme Court, someone will bring Abortion to the Bar. Kavanaugh carries a pocket Constitution and knows that abortion is not - as claimed - protected by it. 

The Mega-Beast in the Pit wants more and more babies sacrificed as in the old days, and he is not averse to sacrificing many of his own mini-demons to that end. He is not content with the 50 million+ babies torn and burned since the 1974 Roe vs Wade, and his minions who have pocketed billions of taxpayers' dollars do not want the blood-money flow to stop.

And what a hysterical mob of evil minions in Thrall to him has he cast up.

The filthy Industry's most prolific  profiting defenders, (some shown below) riding the wave of sexual 'liberty' have shown themselves as hypocritical as one expects from the morally bereft.

But don't put too much stock in the observations of a Tavern-Keeper. I wash glasses, pour Ale and listen. Let us hear from others. Everyone and his dog has had an opinion over the past few days, but I can only divulge a few from the Tavern.

Victor David Hanson sees the lies and hysteria. Joanne Nova had him say his piece.
We Are Living Nineteen Eighty-Four

Truth, due process, evidence, rights of the accused: All are swept aside in pursuit of the progressive agenda. 

In Orwell’s world of 1984 Oceania, there is no longer a sense of due process, free inquiry, rules of evidence and cross examination, much less a presumption of innocence until proven guilty. Instead, regimented ideology — the supremacy of state power to control all aspects of one’s life to enforce a fossilized idea of mandated quality — warps everything from the use of language to private life.
Newspeak and Doublethink.

Statute of limitations? It does not exist. An incident 36 years ago apparently is as fresh today as it was when Kavanaugh was 17 and Ford 15.

Presumption of Innocence? Not at all. Kavanaugh is accused and thereby guilty. The accuser faces no doubt. In Orwellian America, the accused must first present his defense, even though he does not quite know what he is being charged with. Then the accuser and her legal team pour over his testimony to prepare her accusation.
Evidence? That too is a fossilized concept. Ford could name neither the location of the alleged assault nor the date or time. She had no idea how she arrived or left the scene of the alleged crime. There is no physical evidence of an attack. And such lacunae in her memory mattered no longer at all.

Details? Again, such notions are counter-revolutionary. Ford said to her therapist 6 years ago (30 years after the alleged incident) that there were four would-be attackers, at least as recorded in the therapist’s notes.

But now she has claimed that there were only two assaulters: Kavanaugh and a friend. In truth, all four people — now including a female — named in her accusations as either assaulters or witnesses have insisted that they have no knowledge of the event, much less of wrongdoing wherever and whenever Ford claims the act took place. That they deny knowledge is at times used as proof by Ford’s lawyers that the event 36 years was traumatic.
An incident at 15 is so seared into her lifelong memory that at 52 Ford has no memory of any of the events or details surrounding that unnamed day, except that she is positive that 17-year-old Brett Kavanaugh, along with four? three? two? others, was harassing her. She has no idea where or when she was assaulted…

Testimony? No longer relevant. It doesn’t matter that Kavanaugh and the other alleged suspect both deny the allegations and have no memory of being in the same locale with Ford 36 years ago. In sum, all the supposed partiers, both male and female, now swear, under penalty of felony, that they have no memory of any of the incidents that Ford claims occurred so long ago. That Ford cannot produce a single witness to confirm her narrative or refute theirs is likewise of no concern. So far, she has singularly not submitted a formal affidavit or given a deposition that would be subject to legal exposure if untrue.

Again, the ideological trumps the empirical. 
“All women must be believed” the testament, and individuals bow to the collective. Except, as in Orwell’s Animal Farm, there are ideological exceptions — such as Bill Clinton, Keith Ellison, Sherrod Brown, and Joe Biden. 
The slogan of Ford’s psychodrama is “All women must be believed, but some women are more believable than others.” That an assertion becomes fact due to the prevailing ideology and gender of the accuser ......
marks the destruction of our entire system of justice.

Rights of the accused? They too do not exist. In the American version of 1984, the accuser, a.k.a. the more ideologically correct party, dictates to authorities the circumstances under which she will be investigated and cross-examined: She will demand all sorts of special considerations of privacy and exemptions; Kavanaugh will be forced to return and face cameras and the public to prove that he was not then, and has never been since, a sexual assaulter.

In our 1984 world, the accused is considered guilty if merely charged, and the accuser is a victim who can ruin a life but must not under any circumstance be made uncomfortable in proving her charges.

Let’s hope due process, evidence, and the presumption of innocence survives.
As Jo Nova added:
Following lengthy testimony from his accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, Kavanaugh denied her allegations “categorically and unequivocally.” 
He stressed repeatedly that he bore Ford “no ill will,” and while he did not question that she may have indeed been sexually assaulted by someone, Kavanaugh insisted it had not been him. “I am innocent of this charge,” he said.
His ire was reserved for the committee Democrats. “This confirmation process has become a national disgrace,” he said, addressing them. “You have replaced ‘advice and consent’ with ‘search and destroy’.”
“This whole two-week effort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit, fueled with apparent pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election, fear that has been unfairly stoked about my judicial record, revenge on behalf of the Clintons and millions of dollars in money from outside left-wing opposition groups,” Kavanaugh testified, also describing the proceedings as a “circus” and “grotesque and coordinated character assassination.”
My good friend Joyanna also stepped up.
President Trump Says it Best: It’s all a Con Game
If Ford is a doctor, then I pity whatever patient is paying her to get help. 
She played up the hilt the “I’m just a little hopeless little child” bit almost to the point of not even seeming like an adult, BECAUSE, no actual damage was done. And she SOUNDED like a ten-year old.
She wasn’t raped. She got out. Any human being with ANY intelligence whatsoever would have told a friend about the “close” call, if that “close call” really happened. If Ford was truly suffering from all those mental problems, as a psychiatrist, she shouldn’t even have a job helping ANYBODY. 
How did this “child” and messed up woman,  ever get to the point of treating anybody? And more importantly, why didn’t she know how to treat herself? After all, SHE was a doctor.
Not to mention, if she was educated, she would have listened to many an attack and would know all the right emotions to project. And whose to say, she had actually been raped (by someone else)
sometime in her life and so it was easy to bring those emotions to the surface?
SECOND: I didn’t take notes, but somebody asked her a question with a big word in it, and she had NO clue what that big word meant. Sorry, I don’t remember the word, but I do remember thinking, “If she actually had a degree from Stanford she would KNOW what that word meant. Has anybody checked to see if this woman even WENT to Stanford?

THIRD: She really didn’t seem to know where she lived when she was 15. She should have been able to give the address and street, but she was very nebulous about that. More proof that she had been rehearsed. And there were only a few people at the party, and yet she doesn’t know how she got home. Clearly it wasn’t anybody THERE because they were “laughing” at her when she went downstairs.
Ford could have bold-faced lied. After all, if she thought she was going to be saving the women’s movement, of which she is a big supporter due to her activities in the “Fuzzy” pussy hats, and she also knew that since it was just her word against the judge, it could NEVER in a million years be proven she was lying. So, no big deal.
What we did find out was that the democrats kept trying to delay the whole confirmation so that they could win the house and go on to put a democrat on the bench.
Everybody knows it.
As Lindsey Graham said…this was a despicable political circus that could have saved this man and his family from suffering such attacks.

And Paul Joseph Watson yelled his forceful comment for the UK bar.

So, what can I say? I was asked and I tried to see something positive, albeit distant. My Supplier insists. It is He who can make even evil serve the Good. So..... 

All Kudos to the American system of 'confirmation', conducted so publicly. It shows up the Character of people, not just the Good character of this particular man, but the depths of depraved mendacity that some try to use to discredit such good people. 

We, who are not American, see it all. 

NO OTHER nation is so transparent. 

No other nations enable the evil and the wicked, the stupid and the paid liars to expose themselves so clearly to those with eyes to see and ears to hear. 

God Bless America.

God save Judge Kavanaugh.

And you?  Pray for the souls of all those wicked people.

And drink deep of cleansing Ale.


(these things do drag out and on.....)

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Alpha Men and Dogs.

Raising boys these days is fraught. They will without a doubt have to run the gauntlet of false accusation, mean-spirited people, bad law and the approbations of being Straight, White and Male. Even if they are of a different hue and like painting. So we (I say, 'we', broadly) try to raise them to be courageous, adventurous, tough, resiliant and a host of other qualities that we hold in high regard as being 'Masculine'. But we are fallen creatures and hardly any make the top grade. Few of us even know what 'Masculine' is, in its purity. 

We take metaphors from nature around us: the Wolf being more favoured than the ant-eater or gerbil, which, to be frank, resemble many a fellow these days.

And the leader of the pack is most favoured and quoted? The Alpha Male. Fierce, dominant, muscular, aggressive.  He is 'In Charge'. The image is part of our modern consciousness of what a man should be. And completely misguided.
There’s a photo of a wolf pack walking in a straight line with a caption that claims the first three wolves are old or sick and set the pace for the rest of the pack.
These images and rumors about the behavior of wolf packs are false.
They cropped up on social media and image sharing sites in December 2015. A photo shows 25 wolves walking in a single file line through a snow-covered wilderness with a caption that claims:

“A wolf pack: the first 3 are the old or sick, they give the pace to the entire pack. If it was the other way round, they would be left behind, losing contact with the pack. In case of an ambush they would be sacrificed. Then come 5 strong ones, the front line. In the center are the rest of the pack members, then the 5 strongest following. Last is alone, the Alpha. He controls everything from the rear. In that position he can see everything, decide the direction. He sees all of the pack. The pack moves according to the elders pace and help each other, watch each other.” 

That makes for a compelling and inspirational story about teamwork — but it’s not true.
Indeed, ridiculous. 

David Attenborough took the photo in question for the BBC’s “Frozen Planet” Series in 2011. It shows 25 timber wolves hunting bison in Wood Buffalo National Park in Canada. 
The female alpha wolf led the pack, and the others followed in a single file line to save energy as they made their way through deep snow, according to the environmental website Benvironment.
Just how the Bro knew the leader was a female, at that distance,  I shall leave you to work out. 

Wolf packs are typically about half the size of the pack pictured in the photo from 2011. Most packs don’t hunt prey the size of bison (which is 10 times the size of a wolf), but the larger pack is able to. And the wolves walking in a single file line through deep snow is a classic example of how they’re able to use weather conditions to their advantage while hunting prey that’s much larger than them.

Also, the idea that wolves have to be on the lookout for “ambushes” or attacks isn’t true, either. Wolves are at the top of the food chain and have no natural predators.
Hmmmm. Out in the wild maybe. Humans are at the top of the food chain. WE eat almost anything that moves !! 
Aside from turf battles with other wolves (which wouldn’t start in an ambush) bears are the only threat to wolves in Canada. Even so, experts say that bears are only able to prey on wolf pups because grown wolves are too fast, swift and clever to get caught by them.
Female Alpha? Is there such a thing?

Better to ask 'Is there such a thing an an Alpha at all'?

Brett from the Art of Manliness put us right.
How to REALLY Be Alpha Like the Wolf
Scroll through some young guy’s Tumblr or Instagram feed and you’re bound to find a picture of a menacing-looking wolf with blood around its chops or a lone wolf howling at the moon. 
Superimposed on this image is invariably a quote in big bold lettering — some kind of edgy, muscular platitude about ignoring your haters, striking out on your own, and dominating everyone in sight.

You know, being a straight up alpha wolf.

The idea of there being alpha (and beta) wolves originated from Rudolph Schenkel of the University of Basel in Switzerland, who studied a pack of wolves living at a zoo in the 1940s. 
Schenkel observed that the wolves competed for status within their own sex, and that from these rivalries emerged a kind of “alpha pair” — a “lead wolf” that was the top male dog, and a “bitch” that was the top female dog.

Then in 1970, American scientist L. David Mech wrote a book called The Wolf, which expanded on Schenkel’s research and popularized the idea of alpha and beta wolves and the leader/subordinate social dynamic of wolf packs.
Both researchers described this dynamic as a competition for rank, with alphas being those who were domineering, aggressive, and violent, and used these qualities to fight off rivals to become the supreme leader of the pack.

Popular culture soon took this conception of the alpha wolf, along with the whole alpha vs beta distinction, and applied it to humans — especially men. 
Hence, the idea that to be an alpha male, you’ve got to take no prisoners, f*** s*** up each and every day, take what’s yours, and never say sorry.

There’s just one problem with this idea.

The research it’s based on turned out to be hugely flawed.

Below, we’ll explore the myth and reality of the alpha wolf. As we’ll see, looking to wolves for inspiration for human conduct can actually be useful and inspiring, but only if you’ve got a correct conception for what that behavior consists of. 
Here’s what it really means to be alpha like the wolf.

The Myth and Reality of the Alpha Wolf

For most of the 20th century, researchers believed that gray wolf packs formed each winter among independent and unrelated wolves that lived near each other. They had reached this conclusion from observing groups of wolves that had been taken from various zoos and thrown together in captivity.

Under these circumstances, researchers observed that wolves would organize the pack hierarchy based on physical aggression and dominance. 
The alpha male wolf, indeed, was the wolf that kicked ass and took names.

Instead of forming packs of unrelated individuals, in which alphas compete to rise to the top, researchers discovered that 
wild wolf packs actually consist of little nuclear wolf families. 
Wolves are in fact a generally monogamous species, in which males and females pair off and mate for life. 
Together they form a pack that typically consists of 5-11 members — the mate pair plus their children, who stay with the pack until they’re about a year old, and then go off to secure their own mates and form their own packs.
The mate pair shares in the responsibility of leading their family and tending to their pups. In 21st century human terminology, they “co-parent.” 
And by virtue of being parents, and leading their “subordinate” children, the mates represent a pair of “alphas.” The alpha male, or papa wolf, sits at the top of the male hierarchy in the family and the alpha female, or mamma wolf, sits atop the female hierarchy in the family.

In other words, male alpha wolves don’t gain their status through aggression and the dominance of other males, but because the other wolves in the pack are his mate and kiddos. 
He’s the pack patriarch. 
The Pater Familias. 
Dear Old Dad.
So if you want to truly become alpha like a wolf, you’ll need to do more than become a beast in the gym, and strive to overcome your competitors. You’ll also need to become a committed and dedicated family man — a loving and protective father.

While I’ve always loved wolves and their wildness, after learning more about the nuances of their social dynamics, I’ve fallen in love with them even more. The wolf is a nearly perfect symbol of the ideal of masculinity that I’m trying to get across here at Art of Manliness. 
Like alpha wolves, I want to see men who tackle life’s adventure with their mates by their side, and lead their families with heart and strength. 
I want to see men who have the ability to marshal the hard tactical virtues of masculinity when needed against external threats, but temper that ferocity with softer virtues like compassion and gentleness, particularly towards those they love.

In short, the male alpha wolf is the totem animal of the Gentleman Barbarian.

So by all means, continue sharing your savage wolf memes on Instagram and Tumblr. Wolves are awesome. But know that gray wolves howl to assemble their mate and pups before and after a hunt, to warn them of danger, and to locate each other during a storm, when traversing unfamiliar territory, or when separated over a great distance. 
It’s the call not of the angry, antisocial lone wolf, but of a father who’s leading, guiding, and lovingly gathering his pack.
It is of passing interest, for those that wish to invite it in for a chat, that Our Father, yes, Him who is my Supplier, is not only the Alpha, but the Omega too. No beta in between. He knows how to sacrifice to achieve the needed balance that keeps the Universe turning and the Tavern stocked.

He also made us Man and Woman. Not dog and bitch. Not wolves. We are meant to be together and raise pups.... er.. families, with lots of children.

But like the wolves in Zoos, we are caged in by lies and falsehoods, mendacities and false imagery about ourselves. It is not the best environment for our proper nature to thrive.

We know not what we do. But we have to try anyway. Mums and dads, alphas in their own homes, have to sniff out the right path, find the sustenance, guard against foes (politicians, entertainers, purveyors of soft drinks, teachers, feminists.... the list of foes is frankly enormous) and learn the lessons that Our Father - the One and Ultimate Dear Old Dad -  has imparted. 

We have to breed Quality. 

As for 'Masculine', after a lifetime of being a man, studying men (and women and pups), leading men, yes, even fighting and healing them and pulling Ale for them, I have only the feint shadowy ideas that most have about what we human beings are supposed to be like. 

One day, if I make it Home, I shall be shown. I look forward to being even more astonished than I have been so far.

And, lastly, look at what the Wolf has given to us.

Dogs. Man's best friend.
Be kind to your dog.

Have an fine Ale and think about it.


Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Old Pilots and Bold Pilots.

There are no old, bold pilots. But there are those, well past their use-by date, that perhaps made the grade. Unofficially.  Being rooted in ages m'self that go back a long way I have a liking for history, and much of it is quite unknown to most people, even those who frequent the Tavern. So I was pleased to see a history teacher drop in to tell of some little-known matters. Unplanned and really scary matters concerning aircraft at that. How could I possibly not be enthralled.

This particular History Guy is someone I have long 'followed' on the new-fangled You Tube thingo for some time where this American high-school professor spends an attention-holding ten minutes or so succinctly but so entertainingly telling of events arcane, heroic, tragic, thoroughly interesting and engaging. And often frightening.

He says for himself:
I love history, and if you love history too, this is a channel for you!  
I operate from a simple premise- history does not need to be dull. My vision is to tell history as a story, and let the magic of the events speak for themselves. Here you can find snippets of forgotten history covering everything from Hannibal's elephants to the Wild West, in a format that is fun, engaging, and fits your busy schedule. 
Videos are all between five and fifteen minutes long and cover topics of forgotten and obscure history from throughout time and around the world.  
He is from a different era himslf. Would that every school could have such an enthusiast as a teacher: one who does the work. Even half the work.

He brought along a great snippet that I remembered m'self but was happy to hear of again. It was about an accidental pilot. There are some things that happen to aircraft, and to people who like to play with them and fiddle with bits of them, that demand several pairs of underpants of a rather more absorbent sort than my chain mail ones. 
He told us the tale of an Engineer. An RAF Wing Commander (that's a Lt. Col to the Americans), who found himself in a spot of bother with a Lighning. 

That aircraft, in its day, was the fastest machine anywhere. But needed a pilot that could handle it. In this instance he had no helmet, no canopy, no radio, no ejector seat and barely strapped into one of the most difficult to fly aircraft. It must have been terrifying.

I shall let the History Guy tell you himself:

He back pedalled a little: 
At the end I say that Wing Commander Holden spent two years in the hospital.  In fact, he spent two periods in the hospital, both much shorter than a year. I am sorry for the mistake.
Hey, revisionism is all the go in our education systems !

You may have noticed in the photo above, two aircraft. The larger one is a Victor, which was (is) possibly the most stunning design you could see.  Like the lightning it was from an era now past and there are no flying examples. But 'ground display' examples are around, and people gather at air shows to watch and wonder.

It was at such a fun day out some ten years ago now that a Victor XM715 was due to do a fast run down a runway for the enjoyment of an appreciative crowd.

Something went awry. I remembered that too. Here is what the spectators saw.

It was almost a disaster and 'questions' were asked. 

The very experienced pilot, Bob Prothero, now dubbed 'The Last Victor Pilot', talked us through.

I do like being reminded of these events.

I provided the History Guy with as much ale for his tale that he could wassail.

Have a drink with him and go visit his collections.


Monday, September 24, 2018

Battle: It's the Small Things.

Hold the Line, I said. But how? Most of us are the small people of the world, without power and authority. We do not command armies. And on this battlefield we are faced not by a General or a President or a Prime Minister, but A.N.Other troop jeering at us and waving a sword in our face. He or she is our immediate concern. So how do we deal with them is the issue at hand. Just what are you here for? We can be 'confused', especially when young or in middle years.

The first shall be last and the last shall be first, and for most of us we are somewhere down the line. Be thankful and do your bit. You will be shown the way.

A friend brought two warriors into the bar to chat. Very different men with very different positions in the Line.  One was what we perceive as a modern warrior in the World and the other in a more Supernatural army. The latter is 'in the World' too, as are we all, temporarily.

Temporary is the nature of us all. The purposes we have are often shaped for us by our age and experiences, just as the enemy infront of us. If we are 'blessed' a purpose will be gifted to us.

Let is start with the second chap. Sam Guzman. He is so frequently in the Tavern that he has his own shield on the right side wall. The Catholic Gentleman.
There’s Good In This World. And It’s Worth Fighting For. 
Small acts of goodness are more powerful than we think.
The reality of evil can be simply overwhelming. When it dawns upon us the extent to which evil has seemingly prevailed in the world and, yes, even in the Church, it can be tremendously disheartening.
Nevertheless, I would argue that, despite appearances, there is more good in the Church and in the world than evil. 
Evil simply gets more attention. 
All around the world, there are faithful priests laboring silently and faithfully. There are religious who fast and pray ceaselessly for the Church. There are parents training their children in holiness and cultivating an atmosphere of love and devotion in their homes. There are businessmen bearing witness to the Gospel in their workplaces. There are holy men and women serving the least of these in the name of Christ.
Such small acts of goodness are more powerful than we think. 
As Tolkien, through the mouth of Gandalf, once said, “Some believe it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. It is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love.” 
Acts of love and generosity will never make headlines. They will never be splashed across social media or be highlighted in the nightly news. But they are real, nonetheless, and God sees them.
Remember that the devil has one mission: 
To drown out the praise of God by distracting us from the Goodness in which we live and move and have our being. 
He works ceaselessly to drown out the praise due to our Creator with a howl of anger, hatred, and pain. And it seems, too often, that we allow him to succeed. 
Everyday, the sun rises. The rain falls. Every moment, graces and gifts descend from our Father in heaven. Everywhere love works, patiently, silently, and unnoticed. Everywhere life triumphs over death and goodness radiates from the heart of God to his creatures. And it will never cease to do so. 
Brothers, with what are you filling your mind? Evil things that stir up anger and anxiety, or good things that fill your heart with praise and thanksgiving? 
In these days of trial, I would encourage you to fill your mind with what is good. Enjoy the simple pleasures of life and offer praise to God for them. 
Savor a sunset. Rejoice in and love your wife and children. Pray and give thanks for every breath. Notice the goodness surrounding you, for it is always there. 
Evil and ugliness are real. But so too is goodness, and it grows still greater.
I will conclude with the words of St. Paul:
Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 
– Philippians 4:6-8
Dignum et Justem Est .

It is true Right and Fitting and Profitable for our Salvation that we should at all times and in all places give Thanks to Thee, O Holy Lord, Father Almighty. 

You know the prayer: the Preface.

It is He, my Supplier, who has a purpose for us, and our task is to discern it. I am fortunate in that He has given me a Tavern to look after. And that after a great deal of self-directed purpose.

It is unfortunate though that much of what Sam reminds us goes in one ear and out the other. 

The other fellow brought along is more recognisably the Soldier. He is one. He pointed to his purpose in life - at this moment. And he recognises that it may change.
A Special Forces Soldier’s Perspective on “Purpose”
"It is only natural to question why you exist in this life and entirely acceptable that the seasons of life WILL make you question your entire existence."
"At first glance, I would have said that I have found my purpose, the hard reality of this particular purpose is that its a temporary one."
As I hit my 16th year of service and reflect on my time within the United States Special Forces, I began to realize how hypersensitive I’ve become to these days as they pertain to the events that occurred in history. Small events that directly affected me and Large events that instantly changed us all (at least my lifetime). 
Today marks the 17th year since the attacks on the Trade Centers, and I say hypersensitive because I try to make a conscious effort to understand the way these “pivot points” have shaped who I am today, not just the initial decisions but the 2nd and 3rd effects that followed. 
There is a knee-jerk reaction that happens to us all when such traumatic events unfold. We for a moment become paused in time and start to questions how these emotions are affecting our actions, perspectives, and beliefs. For me, it defined a purpose in life and ultimately driving me to serve. 
As I sit here and contemplate the events that had such a significant impact on the trajectory of my life I can’t help but reflect on the idea of “Never Forget” and how that pertains to my everyday life. How such an unnecessary violent part of life can catapult you into what ultimately defines your purpose in life. 
At first glance, I would have said that I have found my purpose, the hard reality of this particular purpose is that its a temporary one. I’ve been in service within the military for 16 years now, and I can’t lie to myself and think that this is a forever thing. This is the problem with “purpose” as it pertains to the execution of a particular job. 
So if you define your purpose in life in ideas that you know honestly will come to an end one day then I believe that you are setting yourself up for a future hard road. I’m not saying this is a bad or good thing I’m just saying it’s worth recognizing. I hope that you don’t just think I’m talking about just work in this conversation, what about all you parents out there… Another example that your kids will move on and your purpose will inevitably change, now what? 
Purpose… This week I have been stewing internally on the idea of what purpose truly means to people and the literature about “without purpose” you will never find peace. While I agree with a lot of that premise, there are a few things that I would like to challenge you to consider. 
Three principles in life have become non-negotiables to me, today’ (I speak) specifically about CREATING purpose. 
Part of the challenge is to ask yourself “Why am I looking for the purpose instead of creating it?”. 
Everything that I read or conversations that I’ve had all revolve around FINDING your purpose, I prefer a little more actioning than that. I’m not saying that “looking” for a purpose isn’t action or effort, I’m simply saying why not create it. 
I’ll take a hard stance and open up the idea of looking for it opens the door for doubt, it sets up a space where if you are not sure who you are you will be second guessing if this thing you “found” is what you’re supposed to be doing. 
It is only natural to question why you exist in this life and entirely acceptable that the seasons of life WILL make you question your entire existence. 
I like the idea of creating your purpose and embracing the choices around what you have created knowing that everything you have is your doing, this in return makes you responsible for your peace and happiness. You get to embrace all the emotions, successes, and failures because you had a hand in the decision that contributed to the outcomes.
At this point, listening, I could see the gap widening between us, and at the same time knowing that I too had 'been there, done that' in very similar fashion and experiences. 
So I create what I want in life and what makes me happy?! 
Well yes, I’m primarily a man that oversimplifies everything not to give me too much to overthink (source of anxiety for most).
In time, more thought and complexity will be provided. 
With that concept, I’ve stripped down purpose even further and what that means as it pertains to human existence. What a weird thing, as a human I’m supposed to do this to find fulfillment based on my actionable daily driving actions. 
With everything above step back and look at the common denominator of all these thoughts and what’s the connection to them all. How do I solve the problem of creating something that will inevitably come to an end? 
Remember this is a rabbit hole of how 9/11 has shaped me and how that role in my life will one day stop, my “purpose” will have to change if I’ve defined it as a Special Forces Soldier. That common denominator is the relationships developed within that process. 
Relationships will always drive the purpose. 
Do you want to build a great business, Start a family, or Volunteer overseas? You WILL need strong bonds with all that you connect with; you will have to start making honest assessments frequently if the relationships that you are creating around your tasks are adding to you or taking away. 
Purpose is the reciprocal connections between you and other human beings, to serve those relationships with honesty is where the fulfillment lies. If we are looking for fulfillment in life through purpose, maybe we are looking in the wrong spots. By acknowledging that the experiences through deeply connected relationships are what give you longevity in your quest for fulfillment we realize that materials will be fleeting and short-term when the connections that you had with colleagues, a fallen teammate, your children, your partner, will bring you a smile for a lifetime.
Today (among many others) speaks to remind us of how certain events can set in motion a space for you to pause for a minute and ask “what the fuck am I doing and who the fuck am I?”. 
Embrace the fact that your purpose, if you choose it as an identity (soldier, parent, boss), will change but if your purpose is in service of the relationships and the impact of the individuals associated with the inevitably changing and uncontrollably ending situations that you have defined as your identity; that service is immortal. 
As an example there are a lot of accomplishments throughout my career, they hold minuscule weight in comparison to the men that I have served with. I defined my purpose as a Special Forces Soldier in the beginning only of realizing that it was about the relationship with my brothers in the regiment. Drinking beers on the river with those that are still here and reminisces about the ones that are not are where the fulfillment is. The gift and where the ultimate gratitude lives are the fact that those connections contributed to the most significant relationship of all, the relationship with myself. 
That pivot point set in motion a space where I was able to sit, pause, and create a purpose that has given me experiences to fill a thousand lifetimes and a relationship with myself that offers peace. I created that, I didn’t wait to find it.
It is the meat and drink of young men, putting on their armour and setting out on their Quest, to be 'certain'. They 'choose'. Their age compels. They do sometimes question, but as young Parzival soon found out, asking the wrong questions or not asking the right ones, leads to the wastelands. 

My good friend is ever the one who can draw from one to give to another and she did so. She spoke to the soldier:
It is a bit of a fascinating thing (from an outsider's perspective) the type of bonds men make in war.  
I think most of us long to serve somehow in this life G-d gives us.  I am sure the man you were when you first joined, and the man you are today.... are different.  We grow, we learn, we mature.  We attain a better grasp on who we are.  And what we need to thrive in all areas of this life becomes clearer as a mature adult then what it was when we are young.  
We open ourselves up to healing. We let go of things that have run their course.  Sometimes that’s the only way we can totally heal. We let go of old belief systems and hope we can still see beauty in a Creator, and in goodness.
Such small acts of goodness are more powerful than we realize.  As Tolkien, through the mouth of Gandalf, once said, (see above) “Some believe it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. It is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love.” 
Acts of love and generosity will never make headlines. They will never be splashed across social media or be highlighted in the nightly news. But they are real, nonetheless, and G-d sees them.
We are frail, and we offer that frailty to G-d while we weep and ask for him to take the pain we can experience in this life.  To carry the burden for things (and sometimes, people) we must let go of.  And in the place of the pain, we ask for peace.
Then the sun rises. The rain falls. Every moment we embrace graces, healing, and gifts that descend from heaven.  He lets us know, “ I am still here.”
Everywhere love works, patiently, silently, and unnoticed. Everywhere life triumphs over death and goodness radiates from the heart of G-d to his creatures. And it will never cease to do so. 

 "Since it is so likely that children will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage.” - C.S. Lewis
 And sometimes brave knights wear the American flag and camo 
May you continue to find a noble purpose.
We do small things. Consciously or sometimes as 'taken in hand' to do them. 

I hope one day when I front the Pearly gates, someone steps forward and reminds St Peter of some small act of kindness, "Dignum et Justum est', that I did once. It may turn a key and open the gate, dispelling the many sins of an old Knight's long life.

Drink with me.