When I was a teenager I was a big fan of the singer and entertainer known as “The Godfather of Soul”, James Brown. He told it and sang it like it was. He wasn’t a pushover and sang about what he believed in and entertained with gusto and pride. He danced and moved around in the most guttural way possible but in a way that all human beings have deep inside themselves. Unbeknownst to many people about Brown was that back in the day, he had some deep and profound messages in some of his songs and also his public comments. One that stuck with me as a kid was when I heard him say during an interview, “Reality never lies”. I've never forgotten those words.

To me it made immediate sense but I’m guessing that for many it meant very little other than some catchy words from a man that stunned and wooed crowds. But to me it solidified the very real fact that the truth, that honesty, that reality, is always factual. Like an accepted scientific fact—reality is non-changing and it is what it is. This is very simple, true and profound.

Many people don’t buy reality. They twist it for many reasons such as biased political reasons, ingrained religious beliefs, neuroses’ and insecurities to name a few. So, sometimes they see reality staring them smack-dab in the face but they don’t buy it. Some say it HAS to be different or it SHOULD be different so they simply won’t give it much credence. Sometimes people don’t accept what’s staring them in the face and they try to change things from what they are to what they want them to be. Many people simply live in a box which is clouded from what is really going on. Thus, Brown’s profound statement, “Reality never lies” holds so true.

If people approach life with an open mind as to what things may be, no matter what, without fear or worry about any possibility, instead of what it must be or hope it to be, they’re much more likely to accept reality. Whether it is good, bad or ugly. If it quacks like a duck, walks like a duck and swims like a duck it’s probably a duck. It is not something else that coincides with a personal wish or something that soothes a deep insecurity. Again, reality does not lie if we open our eyes to what it is. No prejudices or biases or twists. And when we accept Realty for what it really is we can deal with it much better. Nature given or God given abilities help us deal with reality. Not so much with the twisted half realities many of us mire in, but “Reality” can be dealt with by us all.

Nowadays, I deal a lot with peoples self-defense needs and I see many who do not see or believe the real cruelty on the streets. They hear about it on TV but they don’t really fathom how base and cruel so many people really are. Many others refuse to see the ugly reality of a thug’s behavior because they do not want to believe that people can be so depraved and cruel. Furthermore, some people have gone to their graves not believing what a criminal is doing to them as they are being killed. These people are not looking at Reality but looking at their view of what could be or should be. To these people, Brown probably would have said something similar to the words of one of his hit songs, “get up offa that thing” and get real. I think he would have said for people to get away from the nonsense in life and look at reality. It’s there for us all to see. If we let it. The only way to deal with ‘things” properly, is to deal with its reality.

As for personal self-defense, people should find someone to help them who can show them what really occurs in an attack. And what really works to defend against those attacks. A true professional in his or her craft. Someone who can help students see the reality of what people do to each other and what really works against these cruel, depraved and violent people.

We must have faith that we can handle anything that comes down the pike. Whatever the reality is. This goes for anything not only self-defense. We must believe in ourselves.

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