Choose to Be the Hero the World Needs Today

Education Health and Wholeness Personal Development Relationships What Your Father Should Have Taught You Worldview

What Your Father Should Have Taught You – V

You can be what you choose to be. That was a message given to me by my Father, Mother, Sister, and Brothers. It wasn’t magic. My Dad made it clear whatever I choose requires work and dedication. That we will face obstacles to overcome. The road will be difficult. But we are here to learn and overcome obstacles. Any obstacle we turn back from is a lesson we will never learn (that needs to be its own blog post.) I want to talk about this because, when I was young I wanted to be Captain America. My other heroes were, in no particular order, Thomas Jefferson, General Lee, General Stuart, Stonewall Jackson, Generalfeldmarshal Erwin Rommel, and Napoleon. I read every book in every school and city library I could find on these men before I graduated High School (including the University Library.) But I read more books on Captain America…OK, they were comic books. I have most of the Comics of Captain America and the Avengers (which were usually led by him,) from the 1960s through the 1990s. Chris Evans totally nailed that role in the movies. Too bad he was just acting. We could use a Captain America today. (See my post on the heroes I grew up with here: )

Anyway, I tell you this because growing up I was as far from a special operative, spy, or even cavalryman as I could get. As a child I was scared of everything – I grew to hate being afraid of things and waged war against that part of my personality. I was terrified of snakes and so I bought a boa constrictor to use the phenomena of extinction to eliminate that fear by constantly exposing myself to it. Before I was done I had three over 8 feet long but they were finally donated to the zoo. I grew us as a bookworm reading about men of action and wishing I was one but knowing that I was a thinker and a scrawny fearful kid. A long way from the man who bought the boa constrictors. My sister looked across the table at me once as we were playing cards in our family and she quoted Shakespeare saying about me: “Yon Cassius hath a lean and hungry look. He thinks too much. Such men are dangerous.” I still think too much, as you may have noticed, but now I am dangerous in more ways than just thinking. I have changed. I am still me but the frightened little boy is gone. Now, instead, when there was a life-threatening crisis at a major pharmaceutical installation where I was in charge of security, the managers who were in the control center with me said afterward: “How did you do that? You were so calm and always in control. I had no idea what to do and before I had a thought you had already acted.”

In part, it was the songs that became a part of me but it was also my training and my experience. The challenges I sought out. The song, “The Greatest Adventure” from the cartoon Hobbit had a keen influence on my attitudes and convinced me to stop sitting back and wishing and do something to become the person my heart longed to be. Too many people don’t listen to the words of the songs they are putting into their heads but I always have paid keen attention to the words. Too many are forming their personalities through the music they listen to and don’t even realize it. A large part of becoming the man I have become has been through music. Armies have recognized the power of music upon people since at least the days of the Roman Legions; so over 2000 years. Yet too many today are oblivious to the music that is forming their emotions and subconscious.

In Jurassic Park, Dr. Grant says there are two types of kids. Those who want to be Astronomers and those who want to be astronauts. I had the skinny little body and fearful demeanor of a scientist but I wanted to be a man of action, like Captain America, John Carter Warlord of Mars, Theoden, King of Rohan (my favorite character from grade school when I read the Lord of the Rings,) John Wayne, Captain Kirk or Scotty, Col. Tigh on Space Above and Beyond, Starbuck or Commander Adama on BSG, Ripley or Corporal Hicks in Alien/Aliens, even Alice in Resident Evil. But, when I volunteered for the US Army I could only do 3 pushups. By the time I graduated from Drill Sergeant Academy I was maxing the PT Test. I made it through because I knew what I wanted and my father had taught me to never ever quit. (see )

This brings me to an encounter I had a few years ago. I was an Immigration Officer, considering transferring back into an intelligence service and one of my friends had been a US Special Forces Green Beret in Viet Nam. (Interestingly enough there were 4 special operations type individuals that worked in the thousand+ person office. One was CIA, two of us were Military Intelligence, and one was my Green Beret friend. There were a lot of military veterans as well that I was friends with but I found it interesting that out of all the people there the agents and special forces personnel all recognized and knew each other. I cannot tell you exactly why but we all saw something familiar in the others and made contact.) In the same way, I see YouTube-ers who advocate survival, weapons skills, etc. After a few minutes, I can usually classify them as posers, beginners with a smattering of knowledge, or real operatives.

But back to my Green Beret friend. He came by my desk to get me to go to lunch and mentioned my Captain America picture in my cube. I told him Captain America had been a hero of mine since I was a small child. With a self-deprecating laugh, I told him I even wanted to BE Captain America when I grew up. He looked at me and nodded and then said the words I will never forget.

“And you did.”

I cocked my head slightly and he continued. “You were a skinny little kid that bigger kids pushed around. You volunteered for the Army when your mom was afraid that you weren’t strong enough to even survive it. You joined the Cavalry and in the Cold War, you switched to Intelligence because they were already fighting communist agents. Like Captain America you went wherever you thought your country needed you…volunteered repeatedly (something all soldiers know not to do,) and you did it because it was the right thing to do.”

I have always remembered what he said. It surprised me but the more I thought about it the more it made sense. In many ways, I had made the same decisions that Steve Rogers would have had he been in my situation. Except I didn’t get those cool Vita-Rays and Dr. Abraham Erskine’s secret formula. That’s the problem with Superman. He can never be a hero or have courage because he is invulnerable. He risks nothing. Real men will risk everything, if necessary, for what they know is right. ( See: )

It was Nietzsche who that said, if a person desires and strives to be something for a long period of time, in the end, it will be difficult for him to be anything else. That was proved in my life. Thus the title of this blog: Choose to Be the Hero the World Needs Today.

Over the years I reflected that I had help from my family. My Dad never voiced any doubts about me and although I could see the fear in my mother’s eyes about me joining the military but she never voiced any doubts about me. When I joined the army I could barely do three push-ups and I had bad allergies and I think my mother was afraid I wouldn’t survive the ordeal. I had some doubts too. But I knew I would succeed because if I failed I would never be able to look at myself in the mirror again.

I, however, credit a lot of my attitudes to my sister’s brainwashing. She didn’t mean to but she sang to me constantly as a baby and when I was small and then we sang together when we drove and we made a huge tour of Southern Battlefields and places she wanted to show me that she hadn’t been able to when I spent my summers with her in Atlanta. She liked to sing, she had a good voice and liked theme songs from TV shows she enjoyed, and she was constantly singing songs from Man of La Mancha – like “To Dream, The Impossible Dream.” Perhaps without that, I wouldn’t have dared the army. Anyway, everyone in my family had a good voice and my mother, the choir director who, when young, had tried to sing professionally in California, wanted us to be like the Van Trapp family in the Sound of Music (we did sing in the church often).

In my turn I sang for my sons. I would tell them stories of myth, legend, and history and then sing to them a couple songs each night as they lay in bed. That largely ended when my two oldest sons mom and I got a divorce. But we still sang in the car when we drove down the road and I sang as I did dishes or things about the house sometimes. I sang songs that were important to me and every song in the attached playlist has a story to it as to why its in there. I cannot tell that all here but I will post it in Patreon for subscribers who want the inside scoop. These songs and stories demonstrated the values that were important to me and that I wanted my sons to exemplify.

I saw a Facebook post on how ruthless children were in D&D and online gaming. Several comments said, my kid shows no mercy. I posted my experience: When my oldest son was 9 he wanted to start an order of knighthood. I told him orders need “an order” (a list of rules and a statement as to why they exist.) I said, if you write one up we can talk about it. Later he brought me a piece of paper. It said. “The Knights of the Rose. We will fight with honor to destroy monsters and protect the innocent and the weak. We will guard the king’s highway and protect travelers and never run from a fair fight.” My young Knight of the Rose became an armored knight who led others in combat. Only his armor, when he was older, was an M-1 Abrams tank and he fought and was decorated for courage in Iraq. Perhaps there was some difference in how I raised my sons from how they were raising theirs? (See )

Hopefully, your parent’s actively communicated their values, spent the time with you – forming you, so that will you be able to face the challenges in life and overcome obstacles. Never give up! Never surrender you principles! ( See: )

But if they didn’t, or if your father wasn’t present in your life, either by choice or because your mother drove them off (we don’t talk about toxic femininity or that every child who has heard their mother talk ill of their father knows in their heart that half of their DNA comes from their father and so everything their mother says about their ex-husband goes (at least subconsciously,) deep into the child’s psyche. Is it any wonder that so many are lost and feel useless today? But I am here to tell you that you can choose now to live differently and seek out what you need to birth the hero that lies in your heart. Just as I chose to keep Captain America and the men that I honored and read about in my mind and let them guide me in my actions, so too, you can choose to live differently from what you may have done up till now – you are not the slave of your environment. Modernity lies, society is trying to make weak, controllable men, for whatever reason, and too many are committing suicide because no one has told them they have the option to make a real difference. You can become the person that your heart yearns to be. I am proof of that and so are my sons. This series, What Your Father Should Have Taught You, is here to help you do that.

The most important thing we can do is prepare our children for their lives yet the Boomers and later generations have farmed out this awesome responsibility to people they hardly know in public schools and in daycare. At least in the 1800s people selected the schoolmasters they wanted to have teach their children based upon their reputation and their success rate with other previous students. Our education system as a whole has failed so utterly that few know the Declaration or founding principles of our nation and those who think they know are usually woefully confused. America was a rebel people; an independent people, who thought for themselves and reveled in their own freedom and ability. Do you really think a government sponsored school would promote those ideals in children? Governments thrive on control. Such a people is hard to govern. They might want something radical like a government that is of, by, and for the people. The oligarchs in charge don’t want that at all and it is their money which runs our government and it has been that way since at least the Civil War when the Federal Government, Banks, and robber barons centralized authority and power in Washington. If you read the writings of Confederates that is why they were seeking independence and what they were fighting for. There is a difference between why a war starts and what people are fighting for. The simpler folks were simply fighting for their homes because the Union Army was invading their homeland. Of course, that wouldn’t be something the government would want taught either. But we have major Taylor’s statement:

Rather than blathering on giving ideas of what I mean and what I did, I compiled songs I used to sing and that were sung to me by my sister and that I passed on to my children. I still listen to them to reconnect with who I am and sing them when I am driving or to my wife, or while working in the yard. I have included a couple of songs that were too new to sing to my sons but I would have sung those had I had the opportunity. Clamavi De Profundis has some songs from Lord of the Rings that I used to sing to my own made-up tune but their’s is much better so I used their music 😉 I received a kitchen magnet from a friend one time. It said, “A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and sings it to you when you forget.” Here are some of the songs that are sung in my heart:

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