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Self Defense for Radicals: Collective Soul + Activist Heart

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In his book, Climate Wars: The Fight for Survival as the World Overheats, author Gwynne Dyer presents a series of scenarios that could potentially play out (soon) as climate change advances, e.g. several million dying in cyclones and floods in Bangladesh, the US building a mined fence to stop "climate refugees" from the South, tens of millions of Chinese dead in droughts"and then things get truly catastrophic.

Such so-called "gloom and doom" is often greeted with either denial or mockery but staring dead-on into the reality we've all helped create is the first step in the following outline for personal, intellectual, and global self-defense.

1. Accept our role

*We're not victims (remember: victims are helpless) but we are volunteers. Due to our compliance and/or silence and/or inaction, we've played a role in bringing our culture to the brink of social, economic, and environmental collapse.

*We're not being "attacked" for our choices. For the record, I prefer to save the word "attack" for, say, those being targeted by American predator drones (subsidized by our tax dollars).

*We're not being judged as guilty. It's a little too late for that.
*We're not being judged as innocent either. We're all participants and/or witnesses (see above).

*We may think it's not "fair" that we're the generation that has to change everything about the way we live"but to paraphrase Clint Eastwood in The Unforgiven: "Fair's got nothing to do with it."

*We are not alone. In the book (and movie), The Grapes of Wrath, Tom Joad sez: "Maybe we're not all individual souls, but maybe we're all part of one big soul." Incredibly basic, yes"but within that simplicity lies what I see as the secret: If we were to view all living things--along with ourselves--as part of one collective soul, how could we not defend that soul by any means necessary?

2. The 4 R's of defending our collective soul
(to be taken as literally or metaphorically as you choose)

Reality and Reaction

*Self-defense "moves" rarely (if ever) work and can cause you to not trust your instincts as you struggle to remember what you're "supposed to do." Memorizing a few moves before a conflict is not unlike only learning 20 words prior to a spelling bee.

*The attacker always has the advantage--at least initially. He knows before you when, where and how he's going to attack.

*Your first option: run. If you can't run, create and maintain distance from your attacker(s)

*Know your enemy: Expect the worst because that's exactly what you'll get.

*Facing a weapon can be frightening but some weapons can serve to "limit" the attacker's psychological approach and thus, his options. Exploit that advantage.

*Practice awareness of your habits, surroundings, routines, and overall "presentation." Don't allow yourself to be an easy target.

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Mickey Z. can be found on the Web at http://www.mickeyz.net.

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