I'm officially 3 weeks into my sugar-free 2020 personal challenge. Here's what I'm learning so far:
1. Added sugar seems to be in, literally, everything. Reading over ingredients and nutrition labels has been a bit surprising.
2. I feel like removing added sugar has helped me taste the natural sweetness of some vegetables a little better.
3. From a fitness perspective, all of my benchmark workouts are holding steady or improving.
4. I crave salt and fat. Self control with those two things is going to take some work; especially when the fat is healthy like nuts and seeds. Portion control is tricky.
5. Not sure about any weight loss yet. Promised that I would officially weigh in on the 1st of every month so that I don't become preoccupied with the number on the scale.
The common sentiment is that 2019 is a year that most would rather forget. To say that there have been challenges would be, literally, the understatement of the decade.
As a dojo, we've grown in so many ways. From a numbers perspective, I've been encouraged by how many parents have sought out training for their children. Honestly, as a dad, I smile after every training session with our Kids Kyokushin class as the youngest students embrace the challenges of our practice together.
For our Teen Kyokushin class, I continue to be impressed by the fact the the first class of each month is one of our best attended on a regular basis. This inspires me because it's the first class of the month where we have our 7 Minutes of Burpees Challenge. Think of it...one of the more physically demanding classes of the month has the highest attendance. Again, as a dad, this brings me so much joy to see teenagers embracing physical, mental, and spiritual challenges.
As a dojo, 2019 saw a significant change as we transitioned from the Phoenix Karate-do Association to Kyokushin-kan. This change, though difficult, has brought such a rich challenge to all of us as we seek to fully embrace the traditional, budo teachings of Kyokushin karate. With that said, all of our classes (but our adult class especially) has embraced the weapons training, the prescribed kata bunkai, the formalities, and the Kan philosophy in general.
Promoting students to new ranks, attending seminars with Kancho Royama (Kyokushin-kan), Kancho Soller (Phoenix Karate-do), and Shihan Satoshi (a dormitory instructor for Oyama's Young Lions) were awesome training highlights for me, but the real joy...I've already hinted at. The real highlights were the day in and day out challenges that students overcame. The real blessing, as an instructor, was watching boys and girls; men and women come in regularly knowing that whatever the class had in store, it was going to be a challenge.
2019 was a challenge...no doubt! However, the amount of growth that we've experienced from the challenge has been well worth it. Cannot wait to see what 2020 has in store for Forge Dojo!
This is going to be a long one, but words that I think will encourage a good many of us.
Those who have known be longest (my parents, siblings, and friends from high school and college) all know that there have been "stages" in my life from a health and fitness perspective.
As a boy growing up in Caroline County, I spent a wholelotta time playing outside. In high school I played sports year-round and graduated in tiptop shape. Waaay back when I graduated high school, I was 6'6 and 175lbs. I remember bragging about my 6-pack...before learning that a 6-pack on a skinny kid wasn't something to brag about.
Then college hit. For a lot of reasons, mainly related to a lack of self control, I put on about 80lbs during my freshman year. To be fair, I had gone from a three sport athlete in high school to a no-sport athlete in college; but as I've looked back and examined my diet over the last two decades, there's one culprity...one enemy, that I need to try and eliminate.
Folks who've known me longest might think of my stages as: Bob, Fat Bob, and Sensei Bob. Those who know me best (like Amy and Keith) just know Bob...of Bobby.
As I've traveled this journey toward my personal best, I've spent a lot of time considering what to add and what to remove from my routine. I've done the weight loss before. Don't believe me? Check out this article from a while back: Men's Health Article.
So, as I've looked back and read...dear God I've read so much...I've identified my number one "bad guy" for the coming year.
When I look back to what nutritionally, what helped to build "Fat Bob", I'm left with only one culprit: refined sugar.
From what I've learned through reading, research, and university study, refined sugars have white the similar impact on our brains as other addictive drugs; like cocaine. Want to defend cocaine use? Go ahead and be burned like any other wacko. Defend refined and artificial sugars...you'll be a hero.
In 2019, I gave up donuts. I won't lie, in the first few weeks, it was honestly a challenge. I'm a school teacher...donuts are everywhere PLUS...I LOVE donuts. But, thankfully, I've just about made my year-long goal of going donut free. My next step...no refined or artificial sugar.
So, for 2020, I'll be going sugar free.
Am I nervous?
Am I afraid?
Am I excited?
Honestly, I've been thinking of doing a weekly video update to keep you all in the loop. Honestly, I'm so excited about this upcoming challenge and think that there is a ton that can help others on their nutritional and fitness journey.
Stay in the loop. Excited to share this next year with everyone.
I just received some timely encouragement from a student, and I share it not to puff myself up, but to share a point.
"Thank you for teaching me perseverance.
Thank you for teaching me grit.
Thank you for teaching me how to be the best version of myself.
Thank you for teaching me how to be an example of good character.
Thank you for having so much kindness & patience with me.
Thank you for making the dojo such a safe place.
Thank you for teaching me so well how to help other people.
Thank you for teaching me how to have self control & get practice.
Thank you for helping me get better at all of these things.
Lastly, thank you so much for challenging me."
Two lessons from this letter of gratefulness from a young teen. First, notice the complete lack of techniques; punches, kicks, etc. Seriously, what human being wouldn't want o be in a place mentioned by this young man?! I've trained with him for several years now and have seen him grow so much. Sure, his punches and kicks and kata have all improve tremendously; but more importantly...he's growing up. He's growing into the mindset of a young man who is firm, but compassionate. He is learning to draw boundaries and guard his personal space. He is learning how to ask for input AND receive it humbly!
Secondly, his expression of gratitude comes at the perfect time. Expressing thankfulness is a blessing to the one who gives, as well as the one who receives. This young student's words of thankfulness lifted the spirits of a much older sensei. YOUR words of thankfulness have such tremendous power. Use that. Bless someone this weekend.
For some reason, I've had multiple folks ask what I've been reading recently. Thought I'd share:
1.) Can't Hurt Me by David Goggins
2.) Atomic Habits by James Clear
3.) How to Make Sh*t Happen by Sean Whalen
4.) The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
5.) The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis
You'd think I'd finally have myself together after reading through these. Far from it. Trying to take a little something from each and apply it more regularly...just 1% better each day.
What are you reading right now?
We don't train on MLK Day. It's always been a day of rest and reflection in honor of a great man. The more I read about the life of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the more I am in awe at his courage. Stepping into a ring and fighting another person is a piece of cake by comparison. King fought an entire system and his impact continues to ripple throughout the country today.
King's quote (to the right) informs my philosophy as a teacher. Teaching the mind only fulfills part of the goal. To create brilliant minds with weak character would be a disservice to our communities as we would produce half-formed individuals.
Hard training hits both of these areas as well. In the dojo, we educate the mind, train the body, and strengthen the spirit. I've often said that our hard training takes weak people and makes them strong; and takes strong people and makes them unstoppable. When I say that, the first instinct is to think of strong bodies, but those who have trained in Kyokushin for any length of time are likely more aware of the strengthen resolve and determination which permeates into all areas of their lives.
My goal as a sensei is to produce more that strong fighters. My goal, our goal, is to produce strong people.
Enjoy this day my friends.
We all started at the same place, and at the same time. Why then is it that we were all over the place after taking just 70 steps?
Simple: each of us is unique. Some are taller than others. Some have longer legs than others. Some are less flexible than others. In fact, with such a wide range of individuals, it would be wrong if we all ended up in the same place, at the same time. The stance of a young boy who stands under 4 feet tall should be a lot shorter than that of a man who is 6'7"!
There are a ton of factors in the world of training. Height. Weight. Conditioning level. Experience. Courage. Too many to really list actually. With so many variables, I'm constantly reminded that training in the way of budo martial arts is always you competing against the face in the mirror. In working toward perfection of character, we are always in search for progress...there is no finish line.
At our New Year's Day training we did an activity which hopefully got some of us thinking ahead toward how this coming year will play out. It was simple; everyone lined up, facing the same direction, and stepped forward with a punch about 10 times. At that point we stopped, looked at how the line had become broken, and then carried on for another 70 steps. At that point, the spread was much more noticeable, with 10+ yards between the student in the front and the student in the back. We gathered together and I shared these three encouragements about what will come in 2019:
1.) If YOU do your best and THEY do their best, it doesn't mean everyone will end up at the same place at the same time.
2.) NEVER sacrifice who you are just to keep up with the crowd.
3.) Every now and then, set aside time to STOP and LOOK. There is someone behind you who can use encouragement and assistance.
Of course, if you've trained with me, you know that it wasn't that short and sweet. Over this coming week, I'll draw each of those out just a bit.
Have a great week!
Senpai Dylan reminds me of Tony Stark. He's a pleasant young man, kind hearted and incredibly intelligent...a big-picture thinker, but when he puts that suit on everything is amplified.
Dylan is the same way. We've known for years that he was a young man of exceptionally quality. That was before he earned his black belt at Camp Phoenix 2018. Almost immediately, like Tony Stark's transformation into Ironman, all of Senpai's admirable qualities were amplified. He is a clear example of being a black belt and not just wearing one.
For making a profound, immediate transition from the mudansha to the yudansha ranks, we award him with our Yudansha of the Year for 2018.
She doesn't know this, but I talk about Amy with my science students all the time...usually with the phrase "most of us are low-key afraid of her." Amy hits hard. Not for a woman. Not for someone just north of 29...she hits hard...period.
Amy has three sons, and all of them train with us. Her oldest son is one of our newest black belts. Amy's daughter joined just a few months ago and just last week earned her first stripe. All this to say, for years Amy has heard about the training from her kiddos and still decided to begin training last September (2018) and our dojo has been all the better for her investment.
To see someone train hard is a treat. To see someone train with a smile is awesome. To see someone training consistently is terrific. But, to have a student who trains at 100% with a constant smile? That's a blessing! That's budo karate. Amy is, without a doubt, a huge blessing in our dojo!
"And though she be but little, she is fierce." ~Shakespeare
Sydney has become a pillar in our dojo community. In so many ways, she reminds me of my teachers...full of a fierce tenacity and always wearing a smile.
Our mission is to improve. I explain to coworkers and parents that our style, and especially our dojo is geared toward making weak people strong, and strong people unstoppable. We are about striving toward perfection of character. Sydney began training with us as an exceptional young lady and to watch her grow over the past couple of years has been such a blessing. Sydney is well on her way to becoming absolutely unstoppable!
This past week we celebrated our last training sessions of 2018 by recognizing an outstanding karate student from each of our classes. Our Kids Kyokushin award winner, Timothy, is a shining example of a strong and joyful work ethic. He smiles at the mention of burpees and is always asking for ways to make drills more challenging.
Several weeks ago, on his own accord, Timothy asked to join the Teen Class. While this group is reserved for those entering 5th-11th Grade, we allowed Timothy to join even though he's only in 4th Grade! Why?! There are a few reasons, but essentially the approval was based on Sensei Bob's belief that you should never deny someone looking for a greater challenge.
Tim, thank you for being an example of a young student who is always looking to make training challenging and fun. Students like YOU make a dojo so, so strong!
I used to have very strong feelings about participation trophies and medals...and it was quite negative. Actually, I still have strong, negative feelings about participation trophies for most endeavors.
Especially after last week's Iron Shirt Tournament, I've had a chance to re-evaluate trophies and medals. With the exception of my USKA title belt and my Phoenix 50 katana...I'd be perfectly content throwing the rest of my trophies into the dumpster.
Trophies...awards...they should mean something more than you tried. Now, combat sports are different. I've said for years that the guts it takes to step on the mat...to win or lose on your own; without a team to blame or fall back on...that's worthy of honor.
I say all this because in the coming week we will be honoring students in out dojo who have truly stepped it up and shown themselves as "student of the year". Out of 100 students on our roster, 4 will be honored. Do the math. Honor is important, To give honor to those whom deserve it is a pillar of what we do here at Forge Dojo.
If we're honest with ourselves, there are some people in our circles that rise to the top. I cannot wait to honor these four students over the next week!
I showed this video to my classes yesterday. I’ve shown it to my students each of the past few years, on the last class before Thanksgiving. As a scientist, I always love seeing the relationship between data and behavior. As a dad and husband, it’s humbling and convicting. As a teacher, I used that motivation to do something kind of cool.
Last week at school our students talked about gratitude and thankfulness. I was blessed to get about 50 notes of gratitude from my new students…this shocked me! So, I took it a step further: I wrote a personal note of gratitude to every one of my 150+ students…even translating a few to Spanish and Portuguese because that’s easier for a couple of my kids.
The reaction was amazing. It was the most amazing day of work in a long, long time. “You wrote one for all of us?”
“How long did this take you?”
“Mr. B. thank you. That means a lot.”
“Mr. B. you know me so well.”
“That. Made. My. Day! Happy Thanksgiving Mr. B.”
A few of the kids taped their notes to their binder (or their forehead) were so proud.
The lesson was two fold:
Thank someone today.
I challenged my Kids Kyokushin class on Monday to say “thank you” at least 5 times a day. I told them I’d do the same. Why don’t you join us?
OSU everyone! So we here at the Forge are located near Washington DC, in a nebulous area that’s often referred to as “the DMV.” If you’re at all familiar with the area, then you probably know that driving around here is the worst. Traffic is bad, roads are confusing, and the drivers are universally terrible. (Except for me, of course. And Sensei does OK too.)
One thing in particular that I hate-hate-HATE with a capital “H” is how many drivers just DON’T use their turn signal. Instead, they’ll just, like, GO, without warning or pretext. Or they’ll position their car next to a “gap”* in the lane they want to merge into, and then wait for the space to open up so they can merge.
I refuse! I do my best NOT to let these people in, and I will honk my horn in righteous fury if they should try to cut me off. You may be thinking that this is rude or unsafe of me - after all, does it really cost me that much to let these people in? Aren’t we taught in the dojo to be compassionate to others? In some ways you’re correct - I’m not being as nice as I could be. But I think the greater flaw is in letting the attitude and thinking of the non-signaler flourish.
Let’s consider what not using a turn signal really implies. First, if you’re not using a turn signal, you’re stating that you’re so very busy that you can’t move your left hand THREE INCHES to hit the lever before you make your turn. You’re assuming that everyone around you is paying attention to your actions and will respond accordingly and correctly in a way that accommodates YOU (a particularly dangerous assumption to make on a highway). But mostly, you’re proclaiming to everyone that YOU’RE the most important person, it’s all about YOU, and YOU don’t need to inconvenience yourself in any way for others.
It’s this last attitude in particular that I can’t stand, because it’s not only incredibly selfish, but it’s so THOUGHTLESS as well. It’s one thing to be selfish in your day-to-day life (and some amount of selfishness is to be expected, we’re all only human of course), but driving in particular is a communal activity. Rarely, if ever, are you alone on the road; even if you are, that situation can change at any time. Your actions have direct consequences on those around you, and vice-versa. To be clear, it’s not the act of turning that is bad - people need to turn and to change lanes to get to where their going. It’s only a problem when you aren’t communicating your intention and are instead expecting everyone around you to be a mind-reader. That’s when people get hurt.
This concept can also be applied in the dojo.** Proper signaling in the dojo can be hugely beneficial for yourself and others. While your instructors are always watching you, they aren’t mind-readers. They can only interpret your actions based on their own knowledge and experience. So if you want something specific out of your training, you need to signal. Want to be perceived as a serious student of the way? Signal this by always observing the rules of the dojo (stand in yoi dachi, always answer with OSU, address people by their rank, etc.). Want to show that you’re grateful for the instruction you’re receiving? Signal this by LITERALLYSHOWINGGRATITUDEWITHTHEWORDSTHANKYOUORSOMETHINGLIKETHATTHISREALLYISN’TTHATHARDPEOPLE. Do you have a question about a technique or exercise? Here’s where proper signaling comes in. If your question is not related to what’s currently happening in the dojo, then save it for later! If it IS related, then hold your hand up high! If your instructor doesn’t see it, say “OSU Shihan/Sensei/Sempai excuse me I have a question!”*** Say it loud enough so that they can hear, and so that EVERYONE can hear! You may have the same question as others and by asking it you’re helping everyone out! But only if you’re signaling properly!
Perhaps most importantly, where are you trying to go? Karatedo is a long road. You may think you’re heading in one direction, but if you haven’t properly signaled, you might be going the wrong way. Your instructor knows the rules of the road and they have the map. So signal! Ask for help! “OSU, here’s my goal. Am I on the right track? What else can I do to get to where I want to go?” I promise you that your instructor will LOVE this question. Even if there’s no easy answer, the fact that you’re asking says a lot.
So, how can you improve your signaling to help not just yourself, but those around you? Give it a try, and I think you’ll be presently surprised by the results. And of course, USE YOUR TURN SIGNALS. OSU!
*- IT’S NOT EVEN A GAP THEY JUST ROLL UP LIKE “OH HEY I’M ENTITLED TO GET IN FRONT OF YOU BY VIRTUE OF MY EXISTENCE KINDLY ACCOMMODATE ME” GAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH
**- Seeee, this wasn’t JUST a 1000-word-rant on people not using turn signals. I mean, yes, it is that, but it’s also the other thing
***- When they’re done talking of course, don’t interrupt people what’s the matter with you gee-whiz
Wow...it's been almost two months since I last posted.
In the past two months I've transitioned from a job that I loved for 15 years to a new position, that I'm growing to love so, so much.
In the past two months we've transitioned our 3 older boys from the same school. Our oldest is graduating this year from that place I have loved for 15 years; and our two middles are being homeschooled this year.
In the past two months, our youngest has started preschool with one of the best in the DC Metro Area.
We. Have. Been. Busy!
Over the past two months, training faithfully in the dojo, there is simply one word that sums it all up.
Now that I've found my groove, I'll be getting back into posting more regularly. Thanks for being so patient! The theme of "blessed" is going to carry us through 2018 and hopefully give us a positive kick into next year!
The dojo benefits. Families benefit. Kids have an opportunity to learn something WITH mom or dad. One parent per enrolled child can train FOR FREE at The Forge Dojo, provided that parent attends a minimum of 5 classes per month. Parents benefiting from the Free Parent Plan DO pay the 1-month rate for any month they fail to attend the class minimum, and there are no excused absences for this policy. Sign up for 6 months “free” classes, therefore, and it’s likely that you will pay for one or more of those months because interruptions do arise for work, vacation, illness, etc. If you’re disciplined, however, and dedicated, this can be a VERY affordable way for your family to join.
This unique element of training at The Forge Dojo began one year ago and has been such a blessing. As an adult, there is a priority to find an activity for your child, but that makes it difficult for you to afford your own workout? Here’s your chance! In the future, I foresee some of our stronger adult students will be free parents in this category; also because $110 is a good incentive to keep training regularly. You might even consider taking this on purely BECAUSE it will keep your practices regular and get you into shape. Don’t make this decision lightly, but if you take it with eyes wide open it can be the best decision you make this year.
Note: Parents taking advantage of this opportunity should plan on training in the Adult
Kyokushin class or, with approval from the head instructor, the Teen Kyokushin class.
Around the country, a new school year is ramping up. Some of my friends have already sent their kids back for the 2018-2019 academic year.
This is a busy time of year for sure. The roads are more congested in the morning and afternoon rush hours, and our schedules tend to begin filling up with work obligations or family schedules. This year though, why not try something new?
I know some of my friends out there have considered martial arts for themselves or their kids. Here's your chance to jump right into a great program.
I don't like bragging, but a lot of people have been very happy training in our dojo. I wont share specific reviews or testimonials here, but I do encourage you to check out the reviews on our Facebook page and even here on the website. I'm pretty confident that at least a few of our current students and families may comment on this post:-)
While the Back to School Starter Bundle is only available to new students in our Kids Kyokushin class, do keep in mind that new students (or their parents rather) can participate in our Free Parent Program. Watch out later this week for an update on that program and how it works.
The vast majority of the students at Forge Dojo hear stories of "the old Rockville dojo" and the people that it produced. While lining up to close out Camp Phoenix 2018, I got the idea to gather what's left of us for a group photo.
I've got countless stories about this group. Every single one of them can fight...without question. I would confidently walk into battle with any one of them, but that's not what I love most.
What I love most is that the men and women in this photo, the remnants of the old Rockville dojo, are some of the finest people that I know. More than anything, this group reminds me that budo karate is about perfection of character...taking weak people and making them strong...taking good people and making them great.
Well, Independence Day is here, which can only mean one thing...Camp Phoenix is right around the corner!
While we will not be staying in tents, there are quite a few similarities between traditional camping and Camp Phoenix. Now, that might be a HUGE turnoff for some folks, but here me out on this one. Here are my top 5 reasons YOU would love camping the Phoenix way.
Sensei Bob's Top 5 Reasons YOU Will LOVE Camp
1. Get away- Sometimes it's nice to get away for the weekend and forget about the responsibilities of work and household chores. It's also an awesome weekend to focus on yourself and your own growth.
2. Community building- Now, you wont be in solitude at all, but you will be surrounded by like-minded people all there to accomplish one primary goal: to train. When like-minded people gather together for any length of time, strong bonds can be formed. I've met some great friends at Camp Phoenix in the past. Whether you're a brand new student, or a seasoned veteran, you will leave Camp realizing that you are a vital part of something much bigger than yourself. That, is a feeling too few people experience.
3. Satisfaction on a job well done- You're going to work hard, there's no doubt about that. You're going to sweat. Your feet are going to be sore. You're going to be exhausted. But, you're going to be proud of the work you put in. You'll share stories with your friends and coworkers about everything you accomplished in such a relatively short time, and they will look at you like you're a superhero.
4. The setting- Camp Phoenix is held on the beautiful campus of Mount St. Mary's University. Nestled in the hills between Frederick, MD and Gettysburg, PA, it's always a gorgeous view and secluded from much of the busyness of the DC Metro area.
5. The timing- Camp Phoenix is smack dab in the middle of your summer...and that's exactly what you need. If you're anything like me, you're exhausted by mid-July. Getting away for a weekend to train and recharge can be a huge motivator to push you through to Labor Day!
Room assignments (your own private dorm room) are being finalized soon, so there's still time to register. To learn more about Camp Phoenix, check out this link: https://www.forgemd.com/camp-phoenix.html
To register for Camp, contact your instructor (or me directly) now!
Hope to see you there!
Many people believe that every teacher loves Summer Break. Sure it is nice to have a little bit of time off, but it's the break from the routine that drives nuts. I don't like changes to the plan. I don't particularly enjoy changes in my daily, or weekly routine. Heck, i don't really care for making last minute driving directions. I'm fairly certain that for me, at least partly, it's a control issue. I want to wield the cosmic remote and control all possibilities. Seems even more absurd to hear that, and see it on my screen.
Still, summertime for me does bring about certain challenges. With a more open schedule, it's easy to push things off until later in the day. Most of us know how well that works, right? Since I don't have to necessarily "be" somewhere first thing in the morning, the temptation to sleep in is strong.
So, I'm reaching out to you. How do you handle changes in routine? Teachers, how to you embrace the summertime schedule?
There's an expression that goes something like:
Lions don't lose sleep over the affairs of sheep.
I like it.
I really like it.
I don't think it's an arrogant or self-righteous idea, but it could easily turn into one. Rather, to me (if I can be so bold as consider myself a lion) it's a reminder to not lose sleep over things that just aren't important. That argument at work? Most likely not that important. Dinner was late? Not important. House is on fire? Maybe you should take care of that.
Most of the things in my life I have little control over. I'm growing in learning and growing here, and caring less about those things I cannot control. I can control my words (most of the time) and my actions (most of the time) but I can't control you. I can't control your opinion of me or what I have to say.
The idea of not being able to find rest because I'm preoccupied with someone else's opinion or something else I have ZERO control over is almost comical now.
I like to sleep.
I'm not going to give it away for things that don't matter.
I remember this song playing during the last week of Basic Combat Training at Fort Benning. Here we were, a room chock full of newly trained soldiers...thinking we were some serious badasses. All of us; every single one of us...man we were reduced to a sobbing mess when this song was played during one of our class sessions.
I am grateful to God for those men and women who sacrificed themselves for this country. I'm humbled beyond words by the fact that there are husbands and wives, sons and daughters, moms and dads, who have had to say goodbye too soon.
So today, do three things for me:
1. Grill something. Animals are preferred, but I hear you can grill other things too.
2. Drink a beer. If you're not 21, enjoy a beer of the root variety.
3. Take 30 seconds to reflect on the family you have in your life today that others don't.
Have a thankful Memorial Day.
I've written about this before. I think about it a lot more often though. While we are naturally geared to identify errors and hypocrisies, it feels like we've tilted too far in that direction. We have become willing to overlook the great accomplishments of men and women and, instead, focus on their faults. It's easier to do that, but we all know that the easy way isn't typically the best way.
I've read people go as far as to demonize Martin Luther King, Jr. for some of his personal faults. Seriously, that's how far we've tilted. From what I can tell, this movement seems rooted in the confusion between equal opportunity and equal outcome. Tearing people down because their outcome turned out better than yours is wrong. And it's not just wrong for you, everyone around you suffers.
Maybe it's the dad in me, but I get pretty fired up. My biggest problem is that when we tear people down, who do we have to look up to? When we have no heroes, who do we point to and say "Son, be like that" or "Daughter, live like that"? We need men and women to point out to our kids. WE need heroes to look up to! Don't believe me? Look at the box office. We (globally) are longing for stories of heroes.
I never met Lieutenant Michael Murphy; I've only read and seen stories of him. He was a warrior. He was a good man. He was a hero. He is one of my heroes.
Below is a clip from the film Lone Survivor (NSFW due to language) which shows why Murph is a hero of mine. It takes a hero to make the right decision over the popular decision.
For what it's worth, I let my kids watch movies like this. I want them to see men and women who are better than me, who are stronger than me, who are more honorable than me. I want my sons to have men and women to look up to...but that's just me.