Saturday, June 23, 2012

Exercising FREE WILL

For starters this is a test to check and see if I can post to my blog
via email. If it doesn't work you will never know, if you are reading
this post then I have succeeded.

I think that occasionally the people in my office think that I am
stark raving mad. I have an impulsive personality because I trained
my brain to be non confirmative in a sense, to cope with all the
conformity necessary to function in the military. Just as an example:

when I came out of my morning meeting this morning and headed back to
my workspace I punted my coffee cup across the parking lot. To the
casual onlooker this looks like a tantrum or the act of an insane
person, mostly because I was giggling when I did it. The reason that
I did it is not because the meeting was bad. It actually had nothing
to do with the meeting at all. I did it because I have free will and
I like to exercise it occasionally by doing things that are not
normally done. Does this make me crazy? Maybe. We are so accustomed
as a society to doing the Politically Correct (PC) thing and to
actually care what people think. The problem is that political
correctness is not one of my core values. Honor, Courage, and
Commitment are my core values or Corps Values if you prefer. PC is
contrary to those values in almost every way.

Honor, how can you be true to what is right if you are concerned about
what everyone else thinks? It is not possible. It is even harder to
be true to yourself if you put everyone's perception above your own
self awareness. Honor lies in what is right, not what is popular or
socially acceptable.

Courage, There are two types of courage, Moral and Physical. You need
only look at the majority of "career politicians" to prove that
political correctness is contrary to courage.

Commitment, yea right, unless you are committed to being on the fence
this is also a no brainer.

So, I exercise my free will often but I have put certain rules on
myself for these exercises.
1. I will try not to destroy anything that wasn't already going to be
destroyed or thrown out.
2. I will not hurt anyone in this practice.
3. I will try not to create so much extra work that it interferes with
my normal routine.

So if what I do follows these rules what is there to lose. Have you
ever thrown out an old TV or table and just for the hell of it,
smashed it to pieces? I look for opportunities to do stuff like that.
Have you ever walked by a mud puddle in the rain and just decided to
stop and splash around a little? I do it as often as I can. What is
the cost if I am already wet and stuck in the rain? I might as well
have some fun. And it teaches you to not worry so much about the
small things and those things that you cannot control. It will give
you more attention to focus on the stuff that you actually have a
degree of control over.

Although it fits the model of my rules, how does kicking a coffee cup
across the lot help me? It trains the brain to follow MY rules not
the norms of society. I set my values, I forge my own path. Look at
Ben Franklin and many others like him through the history of the
planet. How many things did he invent that "could not be done?" I am
willing to bet that he, and men like him constantly did unexpected
eccentric things that made "normal people" scratch their heads. I'm
not saying that I'm the next Ben Franklin. I'm no smarter than the
next guy, I just have an attitude and a guiding set of principles that
don't allow me to accept the impossible as impossible. This may one
day be the end of me but so far I am having a pretty good ride. NM


  1. Good stuff! More people need to look at life this way!


  3. Patramona@aol.comJune 23, 2012 at 10:37 AM

    Today I am looking for mud puddles. Skipped over, walked around, avoided, or simply didn't see them before. Thanks N.M.

  4. Norseman, As you know, surviving anything is more about creativity and personal mental flexibility - not about conformity. Conformity is just needed enough to keep folks that don't know each other working well as a unit. Real teams don't even need it. You are no doubt dealing with the "system" - which is not a part of the 'heart of the Corps'. Many folks may mistake the coffee cup stunt as a lack of self discipline, but that view is narrow. They likely have little real experience. Reading the true stories of the iconic leaders and heroes and survivors of our time and long ago will give you confidence that you are above reproach in your coffee cup field goal.

    Glad to see you are writing more..

    BP ! Scouter

  5. In some circles it is a no brainier but not everyone gets to experience that kind of an environment. Thanks for the comment Scouter. NM

  6. thomasje3@yahoo.comJune 24, 2012 at 11:16 PM

    Dude (I can say that because I'm an E-7 SFC),
    I need to sit down with you over a few cold ones. You just put to words what has been going through my brain the past week or so.