“All Men Are Created Equal”

This is often times a skewed thought. It is an idealism that means that everyone should be treated equally, be given equal opportunities to succeed, and given equal respect. It’s true that that is how things SHOULD be… However, again it is an idealism, and often times not a true reality.

Not even from day one. When you come out of the womb, some babies are healthy and others will begin immediately battling for their lives. Some are bigger, some are smaller. Some have loving parents and in some cases one, or both parents, are terrible. Some may already have been tainted physically by their parents’ drug or alcohol abuse, their parents poor decisions, or maybe just their parents bad luck.

If their parents decisions haven’t physically tainted them to this point, then we still have to see what the next few years brings. The parents, foster parents, step parents, brothers sisters, family or lack there of…. these all will play a significant factor in how the person will turn out.

Consider along the way that not only family will influence them, but where they grow up, who they interact with, how they eat, what they are exposed to, how wealthy is the family. All of these factors are different, person to person.

Let’s say you make it to 18 and now you’re widely considered an adult. Physically you may be larger or smaller. Short, tall, wide, skinny. You may be really book smart, you may be street smart, you may not be smart at all. You may be kind and giving, or you may be ruthless and greedy. You may be a leader, you may be a follower.

The reality is, that there are too many factors, psychologically, emotionally and physically, for “equal” to be a reality. Yet so many bad ideas are based off of this.

In the self defense world, many strive to teach cookie cutter systems with belt curriculums that do not take size differences in mind. It’s easier that way. Many try to encompass their thoughts into generalized statements like “size doesn’t matter” and “don’t ever go to the ground” when we know damn well neither of those are true. Many people make the mistake of thinking that “if I think this way, then the bad guy thinks this way.” which we also know is not true. We are not equal.

No two people are alike. Two people that trained the same length of time and have the same black belt, still did not have the same exact experience. They processed information differently and drew emotionally from their experiences differently. They are different practitioners and different instructors.

Two people that own equal shares of a business are not equal. One may be the face and promoter, while the other is the administrator. They may have different purposes. They may be needed different places. They may be dealing with different issues. One may work more or less than the other. One may be more effective than the other. We are not equal.

It’s just simply not reality. No one is created equal. We are all created with the hope that we will all have a great experience. We SHOULD all respect each other the same, love each other the same and care for each other. But reality doesn’t care. Some people deserve a job more than you. Some people don’t but will get that job anyway. Some people will love you and some people may try to steal, kill, or rape you. Some people are given natural abilities that you will never posses. This is reality.

The only thing that we ALL share, is the ability to be proactive in our lives. The ability to choose day in and day out. We ARE NOT guaranteed that those choices will play out well. Life isn’t fair, you need to accept that. You don’t get to have what others have just because you exist. That’s not how this works. If you want change in your life, then take action. But you aren’t owed anything. We are not equal.

I grew up broke, with an abusive father, with an amazing mother that raised three kids working her ass off to provide for us. I grew up knowing what sadness and struggle was, as well as what hard work and true love looked like. I had a few heart breaks, made plenty of bad decisions, learned some valuable lessons. I was blessed with some great role models, and pained with many deceitful people along the way. I paid my own way through college, and drug my wife into my college debt. I have been stabbed in the back by people that were close to me, and I have been lifted up more times than I can count by a love I am never sure I deserve. I have been about 5’8” since middle school and at 31 I don’t think that’s changing anytime soon. I give to charity when I can, yet at times I am selfish. I strive hard to do good, but make significant mistakes all the time. I try to do everything I can for my wife and yet I piss her off at times as well. I like training hard, I like working hard, I love naps. I am pretty strong after years of training. I fight well, not the greatest, but pretty good. I like to learn from others, yet I battle my ego everyday. I want to travel the world and help people. But that’s my story. It’s no one else’s. Yours may be similar, but it’s not the same.

Don’t live your life trying to mimic others and fit into their molds.

This mentality in life will bring you frustration and in the context of self defense will get you killed.

Accept YOUR reality and build your opportunity from it. You are not equal to the person next to you. That’s neither good, nor bad. It’s just true.

Being equal isn’t what it’s cut out to be. I’d rather just be me.

Be good, stay safe, train hard.

-aaron