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Predators and Victims September 10, 2010

Posted by rjpeel in Life and Politics, Truth.
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When I was young, there were special times in schools when they taught you life lessons in addition to the regular school work they’re supposed to teach you. I know that there is a whole controversy about what schools should and shouldn’t teach, but in this case, I’m talking about good life lessons that I don’t think anyone would have a problem with school teachers covering.

The one life lesson in particular was how not to become a victim to a mugging or sexual assault in public (this was back when we still believed this was where this happened mostly). We watched videos and heard lectures about how to avoid becoming a victim: walk with good posture; don’t stare at the ground, but instead look around and be aware of our surroundings, appear confident and ready to react.

As we approach November, there are many commercials and pundits trying to convince you to get out and vote. Both sides want their supporters to get out and vote. But getting out and voting really isn’t enough if we’re like the wannabe victims of my childhood–keeping our eyes down and not paying attention to what’s going on. Maybe we think that things just can’t be as bad as some people say, maybe we think that our opinion just doesn’t matter, or maybe we think it’s all too complicated and it’s better that we just find someone we like and take their word for it.

This is a good recipe for becoming victims and for getting predators elected–predators that are seeking their own power, wealth, and influence rather than the good of the people they serve.

Wake up, look around, pay attention. Get informed and develop your own opinion. What you’ll find is that there is merit to some arguments on both sides of the political aisle and that there are sinister characters and malicious policies on both sides as well. You may even find that you don’t like either side and that there is another alternative you like better. What matters is that you make your own opinion (based on facts, not someone elses opinion) and get involved. Once you’ve done all this, your vote will matter–until then, you could actually be doing more harm than good with your uninformed, misguided vote.

The Boy Who Cried Wolf September 3, 2010

Posted by rjpeel in Truth.
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The story of the boy who cried wolf has been used to teach children (and even those of us who are old enough to know better) a life lesson: if you raise a false alarm one too many times, no one will come to help you when the emergency is very real.

However, I think that this little story offers much more than this one lesson. In fact, there is another lesson at least as compelling as the lesson for the boy in the story–only, this lesson is one for the wolf.

If you are a wolf, and are interested in a smorgasbord of sheep (with the highest chance of success and the lowest risk of any personal harm), this story gives you the steps to achieve your goal:

  1. Identify the person or persons who have been selected to guard or protect the thing you’re after
  2. Perpetrate a false attack, but pull back as soon as the alarm is raised (leave no trace of your activities)
  3. Repeat step 2 until help is no longer coming
  4. Perpetrate a real attack
  5. Enjoy the fruits of your labor

The fact that this lesson exists in the story of The Boy Who Cried Wolf provides the third, and probably most compelling lesson of all, the lesson to the villagers–what if the wolf is the one causing the false alarms? Can you really afford to let your guard down? Oh, and what exactly are the wolves going after?–because they’re probably¬†wearing you down at this very¬† moment.