Balance in the Martin Situation

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

After spending nearly ten years in the Marine Corps I know that there are "tough guys" out there. Most Marines will have you believe that they arent scared of anything. I know, for me, that just wasnt the case. Courage isnt the the absense of fear; courage is moving forward despite fear.

Men, especially men who are sports fanatics or military buffs, believe that they would step up to anyone at anytime. Hell, I am one of those guys. I would like to believe that I would stand up at anytime to protect my pride or my family. Is it that easy though?

There is a ton about the Martin case that we simply don't know. I regret giving my opinion on what he should have done. Truth of the matter is that it is very easy to talk about it from your couch.

I had the same thoughts about people that critiqued battlefield techniques from the confines of their office. Higher ups would look at our battlefield results from miles away, away from the bullets and bombs and tell us what we did wrong when fire was flying. It wasn't fair. It wasn't right. It happened, though. It always will.

Martin was in the heat of the moment. He made the best decision that was best for him in that moment. Most guys who play a violent game would not make the decision to passively resolve the dispute.

I spoke with my 8 year old daughter about what happened to Martin. She was appalled. Schools today spend so much time talking about bullying. She was shocked that someone would be bullied so badly that a grown man would need to quit his job.

So am I. I don't think that Martin is weak. There has been times in my life that I wish I would have reacted with a more calm demeanour. The fact that public opinion could sway the Martins of the world to react with violence to "save face" is counterproductive to what we are teaching our kids.

We need to re-evaluate what we view as toughness. I think there is an element of physicality in toughness but there is so much more than that. We look at physical braun and the ability to fight much more positively than being mentally tough enough to walk away from a dangerous situation.

There is a difference between being tough and being foolish. When it comes down to it, I hope my daughter would act more like Martin and less like her dad would have.

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