Travis Haley posted this story and said this: “You can be smart, fast, a physical specimen,… you can be agile, tactical, technical and proficient, but if you lack compassion then you are nothing more than a Hyena…”

He has a very good point. But let me take this a step further. Compassion and Mercy are or should be critical traits in our armed public servants. In the USA we’ve seen some national news stories that show perhaps that the decision to go to guns was maybe a bit too hasty. We’ve seen in LA during the Christopher Dorner incident the two ladies in the pickup truck that got lit up. We’ve seen a kid with a replica AK get taken down. And in New Mexico, a mother with a van full of kids get fired on. Take a look at Iceland right now, the whole nation is morning because for the first time a police officer shot and killed someone. The decision to go to guns weighs heavily on everyone… not just the Suspect thats fired upon, but also upon the community and the person who had to pull the trigger.

This sort of decision making has to happen instantly, and it relies heavily on the Mind Set before the incident even starts. It’s about that Warrior Mindset you need to do the job… I know a lot of guys that believe in the Bushido way and that they as Officers of the Law they are modern Samurai. They believe in Protecting and Serving as the old Law Enforcement motto goes, and that the word Samurai means “To Serve”. And as a result they continually train themselves in their martial arts… with their Rifles and their Handguns and the tactics to employ them. And that’s good.

However, the Samurai also knew that they needed balance. The Samurai were also known to practice other arts… Painting, Poetry, Theater. Many wrote books, others studied the Literature of their time. Some fished. In the movie The Last Samurai, the lead Samurai character spent his times searching “For the Perfect Blossom” and said that if one pursued that as his life’s purpose it would not be a life wasted. The Samurai appreciated and sought after the beauty in the world around them. This balanced them. Centered them.

A lot of our warriors deal with PTSD, probably because they are out of balance in this way. But that’s another discussion for another time. (I had written a thesis on this it earned me a lucrative job offer at a treatment center because they thought I was a doctor in psychology. I of course turned them down)

I think when a person has a good balance inside them… Balancing the Yin and Yang of Light and Darkness in their warrior spirit… it makes them better at what they do. It makes them better warriors. And it also help them recognize the bigger picture of things when they have a threat situation and the gun is coming up to the shoulder or out of the holster… That blink of insight. That neural firing of the part of the brain that has compassion… Because just maybe… That trigger doesn’t have to be pulled. Maybe there is another way to resolve that situation. Not every Nail must be hammered. And you can have this compassion, this mercy, inside you, and you can make that judgement call without effecting your speed to target if you do have to pull that trigger and take that life to save another. Or maybe that compassion will help you be faster onto target, and more accurate. Make you train harder. Make you faster up that flight of steps to get to that firing position… Help you will yourself to lower your heart rate to stabilize that crosshair. Because you appreciate the Life that you are about to save.

JRR Tolkien said it best:

War must be, while we defend our lives against a destroyer who would devour all; but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend.

14 thoughts on “Compassion”

  1. That’s a good one George, and that’s what I tell people why I’m such a fanatic fisherman – “Balance, always keep balance Daniel-San” – in my best Mr. Myagi voice.

  2. I couldn’t have said it better myself. If some of the newer so-called “law enforcement” professionals would get a healthy dose of humility, things would be better for society as a whole.

    1. That’s the truth. The best cops I know, are very humble guys. Arrogance and Authority are a bad mix… as you can see on YouTube.

  3. You hit on a part of the reason I do not like this “Warrior Cop” BS. Cops and Soldiers are NOT trained to be Warriors, they used to be, they used to be trained to use critical thinking skills. They used to be trained to cherish a sense of personal Honor, they use to take pride in serving and protecting their community or State or Nation. They used to be trained that there is a difference between a Lawful Order and an Unlawful one and the fact that someone gave you an order would not protect you from the consequences of violating the rights of your fellow man. Once upon a time the sight of American Soldiers marching drew crowds of cheering people, even when they those same people had just suffered from the effects of those same soldiers fighting in the vicinity of the town or village they lived in/ Once, even in a hell-hole like Detroit (my home town) we kids were taught to look up to police, to trust them, to run to them in time of need. Yes, there always were bad apples in the barrel, once ‘Send in the Marines’ was a fear of those laboring in the Banana Republics, but these were the exception, not the rule.

    Today our cops and soldiers are trained to be mindless automatons. Thugs in uniform acting to suppress, not just the criminals and thugs in the street, but the citizen going about his or her business. Today we see a cop and we become fearful despite the fact that we are doing nothing but going about our private lawful business. Today the American Soldier is seen as an occupier, a thug acting on the behalf of a rapacious American government and the corporations which control it. Today our police are badge-heavy, gun-heavy, taser-heavy members of ‘The gang in Blue’ and those who refuse to act as thugs for the city or state are driven from the ranks. Where once our military was the shield that protected or freedom and liberty it has become a sword we now fear may be loosed upon us for daring to believe in that silly Constitution bequeathed to us by ‘dead white men’.

    Honor, Strength and Compassion were once the Hallmarks of those who protected us. Once Common Sense and a basic understanding of the Liberties of the common citizen were a prerequisite for service. Once it was common practice to define and explain what constituted an unlawful order and punishment for such was seen as right and just. All these have now been replaced by a blizzard of incomprehensible laws and edicts designed to suppress liberty and maintain the power of those who possess it. Today those who call attention to injustice and the violation or basic rights are hounded and brought to ground. Today those who believe in the positive virtues of Citizenship and Service are driven out of public life and public service by those who see only their own greed and avarice as the yardstick of behavior. Today our protectors are going from sheepdogs to wolves and our people are being changed from Citizens to sheep. As a result, tomorrow our people may be forced to protect themselves from the very people we expected to protect us.

  4. Mr. Martin please enlighten us with a description of your years of experience in and working knowledge with police/soldier’s? I’m just curious cause unless you have some you pulled your opinion out of…..well let’s say thin air.

    Yes there are cops and soldier’s that fit that description but having BEEN a cop and before that a soldier for over 40 years I take offense at (and am surprised at Og acceptance of) your bigoted opinion. The people I worked with over nearly four decades were exactly what we would wish them to be and more. What I think your opinion (and that’s probably all it is) is based on a relentless propaganda operation that highlights and puts forth the worst possible interpretation of events and actions. Time after time a little delving into situations reported show that they were nowhere near as reported and in fact when examined in the full light of day were reasonable under the circumstances.

    Have bad situations and mal judgment of all kinds happened? Certainly. Will they continue to happen? Of course, departments have to hire from the available gene pool and that is tainted by a traitorous government at all levels willing to destroy anyone and anything for power. It is not remarkable that take the Marxist hate mongering governments spew to heart. What is remarkable is that so few do so, still and in the face of open hatred currently on display.

    Happy Pearl Harbor day.

    1. I cannot tell you all of the soldiers and police officers I have known, my father has been a member of the 82nd Airborne Association since the later 70’s (he served in 3rd batt. 508th AIR in the ’60’s). I was a member of the Marine Corps League Young Marines for several years. My father then rejoined the USAR in 1980 (they lopped a year off his age for each of the 8 years he served previously). I served with my father in the 70th Inf. Div (TNG) USAR as well as my uncle. Did I mention that the division had a huge proportion of Vietnam veterans back then, and a significant number of the men were cops (State, County and various local agencies including the Detroit Police Department and a couple Fed’s including a DEA agent who joined that agency shortly after he returned from Vietnam). Oh, should I mention that almost every man in my fathers family served in the armed forces? My great-grandfather had 6 full confederate uniforms with sidearms and sabers in his home when I was a boy and he served as an officer of Cavalry both in Mexico and Europe.

      Need I go on? I have spent most of my life surrounded by police officers and soldiers. I wanted nothing more in life that to spend mine in my countries uniform and my later medical discharge was a blow that I spent many years recovering from. Later I spent 14 years working private security in and around Detroit and interacting with cops of all descriptions on at least a weekly basis. I also stayed in close contact with a great many friends and relatives who were soldiers, cops or both.

      I have watched as the best some of the best men and women I have ever known were driven into retirement or resignation by ignorant politically correct jackasses, or by their simple refusal to deal with the rising tide of scum and thugs in the ranks of both the military and police. I have seen hardcore gang members virtually take over military units and police precincts. I have watched store owners in the city of Detroit hire local gangs to protect their deliveries from POLICE OFFICERS IN UNIFORM! I have watched officers make drug deliveries in official vehicles and roll down major thoroughfares in broad daylight accepting bribes from pimps and drug dealers. I have seen innocent people tasered and/or beaten in the streets for daring to question a cop or demand their lawful rights. Worst of all I watched over the years as such incidents went from rare occurrences relentlessly pursued and stamped out by dedicated professionals to being the norm in a city rapidly turning into an outer circle of hell.

      You were a soldier and a police officer? Well sir, I thank you for your service and I accept your word that you and those around you acted with honor and integrity. I am glad that men and women such as you serve and wish that your belief in the general level of people in uniform matched my experience, but sadly it does not. I fled Detroit years ago now and those of my friends and family who remain there tell me that things are far from improving. Here in rural Montana the level of professionalism and integrity among the police are far better than I have known, but still there are bad apples, like the officer in a local department who was dismissed for tasering a suspect, while the suspect was handcuffed to a chair in an interrogation room. The officer was reinstated later because the local council overruled the man’s boss. The officer in question found the entire incident funny and told me himself that the matter was nothing he hadn’t done a dozen times when he was in the LAPD. Sadly that man was retained when the force was cut by 30% as a result of budget cutbacks, even though much better men were let go. So even here I fear the race to the bottom is beginning.

      Still you think I’m just a bigoted purveyor of anti-establishment propaganda? Well, you are entitled to your opinion.

  5. I salute your attempt at service and will also accept your description at face value as well and am sorry you never got to wear the uniform as a career. However you keep repeating your opinions about every cop in the US (and that’s what they opinions), as fact and expect us to accept them as such for everyone in the US. There are hundreds of thousands if not millions of arrests by police at all levels in this country every year, yet we end up focusing on 5-10 that make the news or are trotted out to make a political point. A lot of the current thinking in police training is a direct result of actions taken by law breakers and in some cases we have gotten an overreaction. The insistence of slapping ALL members of a group with mud in an attempt to bring down the entire service in the entire country is as wrong as some of the actions taken by out of control jurisdictions (Your reporting on first hand witnessing in Detroit I assume? I would also be very interested in documentation of the first hand witness incidents you relate above to be forwarded to Federal prosecutors for review. Was this all Detroit? When and where did these incidents happen? How long ago?). Also the use of secondary, word of mouth opinions as facts (again about one area) also does not make the cut. I served in the USAF for four years active as a Combat Security Policeman, including a tour in SE Asia 1974 – 75. Worked in nuclear weapons security in SAC and criminal investigations across the USA. I spent 1978 to present working for one of the largest Sheriff’s Departments on the west coast, recently retiring as a Detective. So Yes that is my opinion and I stand by it. YMMV

  6. RR Tolkien said it best:

    “War must be, while we defend our lives against a destroyer who would devour all; but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend.”

    It is instructive to remember that this quote by Faramir was made in relation to his brother Boromir whose love of those things left him open to the corrupting influence of The One Ring and thus his downfall.

  7. Of course keeping a dead pan face, addressing a man as sir, but refusing to compromise can drive some people into an melt down that makes them look like a total ass to their associates.

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