Lombard Ranger Values: Battling Arrogance and Resentment

What is the purpose for instilling values in young men? Where are these values drawn from? In my personal life, my years of combat experience and my work as a police officer, I have observed evil at many levels. I have observed it in regular people, my adversaries, within myself and those I love. It is clearly identified by the effects that it has on people. The person enacting it, and the people it is being enacted on. I believe it exists within each of us. It is enacted by everyone at some point at some level. I believe the purpose of adopting values is to have a reliable set of tools to battle that evil within ourselves.

When I speak of evil I am referring to acting (and speaking) in a manner which brings harm to another or yourself based on arrogance and/or resentment.  From as small as avoiding responsibility in your day to day activities, name calling, lying in your interactions with others, to as large as imposing violence and death on others. All of these are done based on justifying the act to ones self first.

“Because I am a victim of ________, I can/will do ________.” This is the essence of victim mentality.  Arrogance and Resentment. Victim mentality is what produces evil at all levels. From petty theft, to adultery, to mass murder and genocide. “Because the world has caused me suffering, I am justified in comforting myself, even if that causes suffering to myself or others.”

Victim mentality is what the Lombard Rangers seek to combat. Replacing pride with humble respect, blame and avoidance with responsibility, and weakness with toughness.

Recently, I have been reading, researching, and engaging in long discussions with people who hold drastically different views from my own. I have done so in order to earn a greater understanding of why I feel the way I do about the values I strive to adhere to.

One resource I found especially enlightened was a speech given by Dr. Jordan B Peterson of the University of Toronto for CBC ideas entitled, “A History of Violence”. In it he speaks of evil as described through the ages, Cain in the Bible, Titus Andronicus the Shakespeare play, Mephistopheles of Faust, the devil in Paradise Lost, and finally to the eye opening similarities of Eric Harris, one of the teenage shooters in the Columbine massacre.
Each of these cases speak with a similar inflated arrogance in which they know what God knows and place themselves superior. Each professes their justification for destroying existence based on their own resentment of it. Dr. Peterson boils the concept down to; “the ultimate in intellectual pride, everything I know is sufficient, and there is nothing transcendent beyond that.” That ultimate intellectual pride (arrogance) paired with a deep resentment for existence, is what pushed them toward pure evil. Because the world is unfair, I am justified in destroying it.

It appears the worst horrors experienced throughout history were caused by this pattern of thought. These truthful and literary stories from the past must serve as examples as to why pride must be given up to something transcendent, not to the self. They also reveal how resentment should be discarded in exchange for preparing yourself for reality and accepting it.

Work daily to mind your thoughts. Stay humble and do not allow yourself to adopt a victim mentality. Focus on improving your reactions to things and people in your life. This will keep you from acting in a way that victimizes others.

Rangers Prep for Camping Trip

Camping can be one of the most fun and educational activities boys can participate in. The great fun of camping is balanced by the responsibility of fending for themselves in the great outdoors! Packing and carrying their own clothes, sleeping bag and equipment, establishing their own shelter, and cooking their food over an open fire are all skills learned in camping.

But before camping can begin the ranger’s equipment must be inspected to ensure it is mission ready. Checking that all parts are present and everything is undamaged is a huge part of  making sure the time at the campsite is as fun as possible. The more prepared the Ranger, the easier the trip.

 

IMG_20170717_153110051_HDRFind out how to join the Ranger’s in all of their adventures! Email lombard.rangers@gmail.com

 

Teaching Boys The Core Values

The idea behind establishing the Lombard Ranger values; Respect, Responsibility and Toughness was to provide a solid foundation for which all lessons and guidance could be built upon.  These three immensely strong yet simple values, which I believe to be universally understood, act as easily discernible beacons in which to reference while navigating any lesson or challenge.

After being taught through my childhood the “6 Pillars of Character” then right into the “7 Army Core Values” of my young adulthood, as well as countless other values training platforms from every organization I have belonged, I felt overwhelmed with the foggy and overlapping terms of virtue by which I was supposed to live. After giving thought to the words in the Pillars of Character, and the Army Core Values, I found myself associating terms without being convinced they were different enough from one another to all warrant mention. Duty and Responsibility for instance in the Army Core values.  Respect, Fairness and Trustworthiness from the Pillars of Character.  These terms can certainly be reduced without being over simplified.  I started feeling like these organizations were more concerned about coming up with clever acronyms (T.R.R.F.C.C. for Character Counts, and L.D.R.S.H.I.P. for the Army) then actually passing on the generational wisdom of our culture.  Now, I’m sure years of psychological and behavioral research, committee meetings and approval processes are behind these two programs, but that just leads me to think they are probably too complex and convoluted to be as effective as the organizations think they are.  My goal was to boil down the ideas behind these terms into what I view as the most useful virtues one can have, in service of overcoming the ultimate challenge, self improvement.

When referring to self improvement, I am speaking of soul work, true dragon slaying, the spiritual battle inside every one of us.  It is a concept unbound by culture, religion or geographical location.  It is a concept that underlines the very existence of civilization.

buddha

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Teaching boys and young men that this struggle is the one that sorts out all other struggles is not easy.  Most problems in our lives initially appear to be external things that we are victims of.  This is not the truth.  When a person sees their self as a victim, they put their self at the mercy of chaos in exchange for temporary sympathy.  When a person learns to respect chaos for what it is and understand the things they can and can’t control, they seem to find a calm within their self.  This is the universal goal, inner peace, transcendence, balance.

Through my experience I have found the most effective values to anchor oneself to are Respect, Responsibility and Toughness.

Respect is how you think of things.  It is the mind. Thinking of all things in a manner which gives them dignity, with positive energy towards their right to exist is completely under a persons control. All things must be offered this type of thought, whether you agree with them or not.

Responsibility is how you choose to act. It is the mind manifested in the physical world. It is body.  It includes speech as well as action. Choosing to speak and act in a manner that is consistent with how you think of things, with positive energy and respect, is also completely under ones control.

Toughness is what carries you through the journey.  It is spirit.  It is the power of indomitable will.  It takes toughness to be resilient in maintaining positive thought. It also takes toughness to push your body through difficult physical action.  How tough a person is again is completely under their control.

Be respectful to everyone and everything, because you are responsible for your actions no matter how you feel.  Be tough, accepting responsibility for all your actions, good and bad, it won’t be easy.

It is the responsibility of men to teach these virtues to boys and young men.  The way to teach them is not only through word, but more effectively through deed.  The goal of the Lombard Rangers is develop virtuous character in men and boys through service to the community.

July Bike and Hike!

The Lombard Rangers conducted their first Bike and Hike event on 7/8/17.  Included was a 1 mile bike ride that brought the Rangers to the East Branch of the Dupage river, followed a 1/4 mile hike in the surrounding woods.  While in the woods, the Rangers participated in; a basic map reading class, a first aid class for treating minor injuries and creature identification.  We wrapped up the event with a discussion about our three core values; respect, responsibility and toughness and explored ways we called upon those values during our trip.  Each ranger was respectful of each other, the environment, the trails we used and the other walkers, joggers and bikers using the trail.  Each ranger was responsible for his own equipment on the trip and made sure they kept accountability the entire time.  Since it was hot and kind of a long ride for our littlest Rangers, toughness was needed to get us all the way home!

If you are interested in joining the Lombard Rangers, feel free to email lombard.rangers@gmail.com for more info!