“But what can I do?”, is a question I hear more and more frequently. On the surface, that seems like a logical question in the face of insurmountable odds. With the social friction around us, the pressure of the pandemic and the economic hardships people are experiencing, it all seems overwhelming. It can feel like the single actions of a person are inconsequential to the hum of the big machine.
But that is far from the truth.
However, I can’t help but wonder, if some people have become so risk adverse that they are unwilling to take any action at all?
More and more frequently, I find myself interacting with people that fall into the risk adverse category. They are paralyzed by the thought of having to make a decision or to take a chance. People seem hesitant to act because they don’t know what to do, or their perceived risks are misunderstood. Education, experience, and solid training can fix the first issue, but no one but yourself can fix the second problem.
Sure, there is a risk that you will be wrong and look foolish. But you know what? There is also a risk when you do nothing. And there is also a cost for inaction, and sometimes it is a greater price to pay.
“By nature, uncertainty invariably involves the estimation and acceptance of risk. Risk is inherent in war and is involved in every mission. Risk is equally common to action and inaction.” (Warfighting. MCDP1, United States Marine Corps. 1997. Page 9)
Since you will be exposing yourself to risk, either through action or inaction, why not make the exposure worthwhile and take a calculated risk in your favor?
Look, no one is advocating for foolish risks or haphazard chances. Everyone needs to remember that taking no action can be just as dangerous as acting and failing. You have permission to take risks, even when there is no assurance of success.
So, when the time comes, are you going to be ready to take a risk? You need to, because the lives of your loved ones and the strength of your community may just depend on it.
Here are a few ideas for the common question of, “But what can I do?”.
- Do a self-evaluation. Consider using the SWOT analysis method. Be honest or this is fruitless.
- Identify changes to make. Even small, incremental changes can add up over time. Make yourself an action item list and then hold yourself accountable. Ask your teammates to hold you accountable.
- Prioritize your health; spiritual, psychological, and physical. Listen, you won’t be helpful to anyone if you’re a basket case, a loose cannon or so unfit you can’t tie your shoes. Take care of yourself, both the inside and the outside.
- Listen to others; learn from their mistakes and leverage their successes. It’s a tragedy when subject matter experts (as found on American Partisan) offer suggestions and their words just fall on deaf ears. Listen to the people who have, “been there and done that”. Heed their words.
- Study and Train. Study with enthusiasm and train with a passion. Identify areas where you are lacking and then study like you are expected to be a subject matter expert. Train like your life might depend upon, because one day it just might.
- Read. A ton of books have been recommended throughout the articles on the American Partisan. Read them. Implement what’s learned.
- Find a mentor. No one is expected to do this alone and at some point, we all need input, guidance and help. If you ever find yourself where you don’t need a mentor, then go BE a mentor.
There is no “one size fits all” approach to the question of, “But what can I do?”. Everyone here has a different background with different experiences, and we are all in different stages of life. But what we have is a common goal of preserving civil liberties, protecting human rights, and respecting the rule of law. With the decayed state of the union, you need to have a plan of action, expect to experience adversity, and have a mindset for risk.
I remember when we were first taught about ambushes at boot camp. We were taught that, if we were ever caught in an ambush, the correct thing to do was to assault through the ambush. That seemed so absurd, to run into harm’s way…to run towards what was almost a certain death. After studying the doctrine, you realize, that assaulting through the ambush was better than nothing.
It was then, I truly appreciated the sentiment that taking some action is better than taking no action. We need everyone in the game, not on the sidelines. Get trained and stay ready.
Jessie Blaine is a former Marine living in refuge somewhere in the Lone Star state. He is in a perpetual state of learning, which is the second-best state to be in, with the Lone Star state being the first. He is also a Brushbeater student and a proud member of the Mossy Oak Militia.