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April 22, 2010 — Our ease of life is a curse to many. A large majority of our citizens are pussies. They are not equipped to handle difficult circumstances, ensure their own self-reliance, face and conquer hard work challenges, and rise to the occasion when circumstances become tough. They are immersed and possessed by the artificial "PUSH-BUTTON" World (PBW) which consumes their existence. In fact they are often addicted to it and when, not if, this PBW comes crashing down around them, many will give up their will to live. That is shocking but true. As a society we have far strayed from the hard work, self-reliant, can-do principles that our forefathers used to create the very societies which we now enjoy. To integrate these principles of mental toughness and tenacity in the face of hardship is to "depussify" our children and perhaps ourselves. The easy life is indeed wonderful and is to be enjoyed fully. These are GREAT times full of amazing luxury, food, technology (like YouTube!), and gear that makes our lives easier, safer, and recreational. But all parents should strive to depussify their sons and daughters and encourage and teach meaningful skill sets that don't require a video game, electricity, or makeup. This can be done through fun but challenging family outings like backpacking, fishing, hiking, hunting, camping, and shooting adventures where we leave the PBW behind and strike out on a multi-day excursion, far from society, to live "real." You should prove to yourself (and your kids) that you have the skills and confidence to be comfortable when you are really away from it all. No phone, no cars, no MTV, no texting, no games...just you out in the wilderness making life work for you. My father is responsible for setting me on this pathway, and like all good fathers, he realized that protecting his children against the harsh realities of work, discomfort, hunger, accountability, and exertion would create an entitlement, spoiled attitude in his children. He made the hard choices for us kids and we have benefitted greatly from his parenting. Coming from the poorest of circumstances, he lifted himself up and achieved success as a decorated USAF Combat Pilot in Vietnam and then later in life, a successful businessman. He gave us a higher standard of living but did not let it muddy the waters of his parenting resolve. My childhood was a wonderful series of amazing and challenging outdoor adventures (that I later built upon apart from Dad) that I shared with my father. But while we had fun and overcame the terrain, weather, and discomfort challenges that accompany real outdoor adventures, my Dad was laying the groundwork for his sons to become men of substance. The military teaches the same things and those individuals with proper upbringing (like "InadvertentSmell" who has great parents) will excel in that "buck stops with you" environment where your actions or lack thereof can get people killed. In TNP, I advocate the making of fun and memorable family and friend adventures but they often will serve this larger purpose of depussification for all "attendees"...even yourself. The prepared individual will FIRST be mentally tough, having gone through many such experiences that stock his or her mental reservoirs of confidence in trying circumstances. As a parent, guardian, brother, sister, teacher (or just you alone!), look for opportunities to go out and live these "proving" experiences. This prepares you for the harsh realities of natural disasters, economic hardship, survival situations, and maybe even societal collapse. Enjoy the PBW and have fun. But be a man or woman of substance. Understand that is all an illusion, dependent on a very delicate economic foundation, and at any given time fate may call on you to survive just as ancestors did hundreds of years ago. Teach toughness, teach readiness, teach self-reliance, and don't be a pussy. I am grateful I had a Father who did just that.