The Steel Wall Prologue – What’s it all about?

What’s It All About?

While an image of a steel wall is powerful and formidable, that one picture, as the saying goes, is worth a thousand words. In this case, it evokes concepts of force, barriers, standards and distinction. It not only implies a clear division between one way or another, but suggests consequences for which one we choose. To give the reader an idea of the principles in The Steel Wall, I composed a “From the Author” page and a “Prologue” as teasers for the rest of the book. The Steel Wall addresses two issues:

1) “What happened to Dustin Morgan?”

This requires a flashback to to the first book, “From Woodstock To Eternity”, to give a glimpse of the early days of hippiedom. For this reason, “From the Author” details the drug culture that accompanied Woodstock Nation and Dustin’s deliverance to freedom. (See: Set the Background: The Mystique of an Era). After Dustin’s conversion, he embarked on the straight and narrow, but was abruptly arrested off the plane he was flying. The book ends.

2) Why Isn’t God Answering My Prayers?

The Prologue brings out the deep spiritual issues facing Dustin Morgan as a dark reality from his past hits him in the face. Even though he had believed in Jesus, repented, and been delivered, God was not answering his prayers. Since everyone can benefit from the hard lessons acted out in this book, I have included excerpts from the Prologue that answer the question.

“What’s it all about?”

Job once said, “Yet man is born to trouble, as the sparks fly upward.” As Christians, we often wonder about God’s seemingly indifferent attitude towards our prayers. The apostle James gives the most obvious reason…

“You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss.”

What does it mean to ask amiss? It means to ask for the wrong things. Asking correctly boils down to one thing… God works through obedience. The rub comes when God tells us to do things that go against our previously held ideas. What if He commands us to forsake family, friends, or deeply held convictions? What if obeying these directives would bring scorn down on our heads, humiliation, and personal loss?

What If God Tells Me To Do Something That Costs Me Dearly?

Consider God telling Abraham to sacrifice his only son, Isaac. God certainly wouldn’t tell us to kill the son He gave us… or would He? Most of us would stop right there, but Abraham travelled into a deeper realm of faith. If Isaac died, he projected beyond his lifeless body and believed God would raise him back to life. How about Jesus saying that if we leave family and friends for His sake, we will receive a hundredfold and inherit eternal life? These are hard sayings and require the right responses.

Do I Have To Do What God Says?

When Dustin Morgan was arrested, as a Christian, for crimes he committed in his old life, he found himself facing all these conundrums. His obedience to God would indeed bring down scorn and require him to forsake old bonds. He tried to avoid this with a misdirected faith, but to no avail. Through a chain of harrowing episodes, Dustin discovered a simple truth that explains the mystery of God’s power:

I AM A STEEL WALL FOR YOU WHEN YOU ARE FOR ME AND AGAINST YOU WHEN YOU ARE AGAINST ME

From Woodstock To Eternity: Writer’s Digest Review

I recently submitted “From Woodstock To Eternity” in a Writer’s Digest E-Book contest and received a great Writer’s Digest Review. For people who have not heard about this book, the first in a two book series, this review from a very reputable source delves into many elements that make up a good book. Here are some of the highlights of this review.

Structure, Organization, Pacing: Compelling Organization

This book is exemplary in its structure, organization, and pacing. The structure of the chapters/parts aid in a compelling organization of the story or information. The pacing is even throughout and matches the tone/genre of the book.

Plot, Story, or Topic Appeal: It is Unique

This book is exemplary in its choice of topic or theme of the story. It is unique but still has strong appeal for most readers in its intended genre. If the book is fiction or narrative nonfiction, the book is well plotted.

Character Appeal and Development: Fully fleshed out

This book is exemplary in character appeal (or interest) and development. All main characters (including antagonists) are unique and fully fleshed out with compelling, layered motivations and traits. Secondary characters are unique and have a meaningful purpose.

Voice and Writing Style: Exemplary

This book is exemplary in its voice and writing style. It has a unique voice, and the writing style is consistent throughout. The style and tone are also consistent with or will appeal to readers of the intended genre.

In a few explanatory sentences, please share with the entrant 1-3 things that you enjoyed or that readers will find compelling about this book and why.

This was a well told story which draws the attention of the reader. The suspense was intense. The story flowed well, and you could understand the voice of the storyteller. With all the drama, it was still possible to suspend disbelief.

Judge, 9th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published E-Book Awards.

Shooting at the Wrong Target

The Real Story Behind The Steel Wall

The Real Story

The Steel Wall is not just an exciting sequel to From Woodstock to Eternity with drug stings, Coast Guard chases and intrigue. It is the real story of what happened when Dustin Morgan was arrested, as a Christian, for crimes he committed in his old life. Most importantly, it is a journey through how he found out what God wanted him to do to get through a baffling dilemma. Why didn’t God protect him and deliver him, since he no longer did these things? He was shooting at the wrong target.

In the first chapter of The Steel Wall, “The Arrest,” Dustin wracks his brain in the jail cell.

Man, this just ain’t right. I live a depraved, immoral lifestyle and skate through all my drug busts, then I turn Christian and get nailed for something I did four years ago. I’m not even the same person! What’s up with that? Is this the way it’s supposed to be… believe in Jesus, repent, go straight, and then go to jail? (See: Set the Background: The Mystique of an Era )

Shooting at the Wrong Target

Shooting at the Wrong Target

What does it mean to ask amiss? It means to ask for the wrong things, or with a wrong understanding of God and how He works. In Dustin’s case, his understanding of how God works didn’t jive with what was happening. Even so, he continued shooting at the wrong target with his prayers, hoping for a good answer. The result? Motion denied, shot down and licking his wounds.

He had been told that, as a believer in Jesus, all his sins were forgiven and forgotten by God. If God forgot about them, then why are they suddenly the cause of being arrested and thrown in jail? Something was wrong. God was not looking out for him like he thought He would.

Answers for Unanswered Prayers

Unanswered Prayers

Job once said, “Yet man is born to trouble, as the sparks fly upward.” As Christians, we often wonder about God’s seemingly indifferent attitude towards our prayers. So many books have been written about mountains and valleys, why bad things happen to good people, and so on. The apostle James gives the most obvious reason…

“You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss.”

Hard Sayings

Abraham and Isaac

Asking correctly boils down to one thing… God works through obedience. The rub comes when God tells us to do things that go against our previously held ideas. What if He commanded us to forsake family, friends, or deeply held convictions? What if obeying these directives would bring scorn down on our heads, humiliation, and personal loss? Consider God telling Abraham to sacrifice his only son, Isaac. God certainly wouldn’t tell us to kill the son He gave us… or would He? Most of us would stop right there, but Abraham travelled into a deeper realm of faith. If Isaac died, he projected beyond his lifeless body and believed God would raise him back to life. How about Jesus saying that if we leave family and friends for His sake, we will receive a hundredfold and inherit eternal life? These are hard sayings and require the right responses.

The Mystery of God’s Power

Dustin would indeed face scorn, humiliation and personal loss, but these were necessary to achieve ultimate victory. He tried to avoid this with a misdirected faith, but to no avail. Through a chain of harrowing episodes, Dustin discovered a simple truth that enabled him to tap into the mystery of God’s Power.

I AM A STEEL WALL FOR YOU WHEN YOU ARE FOR ME AND AGAINST YOU WHEN YOU ARE AGAINST ME

See: The Steel Wall is Here!

Set the Background: The Mystique of an Era

Most people who have read “From Woodstock To Eternity” want to know the answer to the last line in the book… “Are you Dustin Morgan?” This has compelled me to set the background to round out the context. Some have even become irate that I left the story on such a cliff hanger. After all, they went through the rise of the hippie movement, Woodstock, and pot runs, all to be left hanging. Well, not that I’m sadistic, but that was the point. I wanted to create a great anticipation for the next book, “The Steel Wall,” which is now published and on Amazon. I did this in the From the Author introduction, and I will include some excerpts from it here.

The Mystique of an Era

My previous book, From Woodstock To Eternity, chronicled the adventures of Dustin Morgan through the counter culture days of the 1960’s and ‘70’s. It captured the mystique of an era and why it had such a profound impact on those who lived it. Through the eyes of Dustin Morgan, the reader was able to go to Woodstock, feel the effects of the Vietnam War, and fly over the Atlantic in drug laden planes through real life encounters.

The Spirit of Woodstock

However, the spirit of Woodstock was not all peace and love. It encompassed psychedelic drug use, with all its ups and downs, and the inevitable spawning of a new breed of capitalist… the drug dealer. Dustin embraced this opportunity with open arms, relishing the respect, the adventure, and the money. However, it soon took its toll in jail time and disillusionment with the same old drug fogged routine.

Deliverance

The mystique of an era wore off in time, however. Eventually, Dustin settled down, had a family and accepted Jesus Christ. Through a dramatic deliverance, he made a commitment to raise his family in the Lord. He and his wife, Lisa, went on mission trips, and he was able to regain his career in aviation. Over the next four years, they went to church, started a family, and made honest money.

Then one day, a police officer boarded Dustin’s airplane and asked him, “Are you Dustin Morgan?” The book ended.

The Answer

The implications were not good, and indeed, it was the beginning of Dustin’s worst nightmare. The Steel Wall tells the story of what happened to Dustin Morgan, and it has become a full blooded Christian adventure drama full of heart pounding elements: Intense action, intrigue, inner conflict, and life changing decisions.

It is my sincerest desire that you are blessed with the excitement and revelations contained in The Steel Wall. I want to hear from all who would like to give feedback on either book, so please feel free to comment, and please leave a review on the Amazon book page.

Coming Up: The Real Story of The Steel Wall

See also: The Steel Wall is Here!

The Steel Wall is Here!

Available on Amazon

Finally, after much effort to get it right, “The Steel Wall” is here! All the action, drama and acts of God you could want just before Christmas! It is now available on Amazon in paperback or Kindle. I know it is a little late, but the Kindle is instantaneous, of course, and the paperback could take a few days to ship.

The Steel Wall Description

“The Steel Wall” is the sequel to the book, “From Woodstock To Eternity.” In that book, I wrote about the excitement of the flower power days of Woodstock and the adventures that came with it through the eyes of the main character, Dustin Morgan. Through a dramatic transformation, Dustin Morgan entered a new Christian life, leaving his mind-numbing hippie days far behind. However, the book leaves the reader with a cliff hanger ending based on an encounter with the law.

In this sequel, “The Steel Wall” answers the question posed by an airport police officer, “Are you Dustin Morgan?” This unexpected visit from his past creates a bizarre dilemma that pits Morgan’s new life in Christ against his old loyalties. It also opens a riveting adventure of cocaine runs, Coast Guard chases, and lawman stings. The intrigue is intense throughout, with drama, double crosses, and internal struggles. Morgan has to rely on God for direction through a monumental trial of kingpins. Through breathtaking visions to visiting angels, Morgan receives guidance, but Legion is there to divert him from the truth. Who will he hear? His life depends on the answer.

Book 2 of 3: Eternal Pioneer

On the Amazon page, there is a link saying, “Book 2 of 3: Eternal Pioneers.” It is now possible to see the page with both books of this series together. Book 1 is “From Woodstock To Eternity 50th Anniversary Edition,” and Book 2 is “The Steel Wall.” Both books in the series are now available in both paperback and Kindle.

Merry Christmas to All

It is my sincerest hope that all of you will have a great Christmas with family and friends as you celebrate the birth of Christ. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

The Steel Wall Progress Report

The Steel Wall Upcoming Publication

As those who have been following this blog know, I am in the final stages of preparing my book, The Steel Wall, for publication. I previously estimated October 7, 2021 for my publication date, but I would like to give a Progress Report. This book is very special to me, and it contains so many perspectives and insights that I want to get the message exactly right. Therefore, I have been devoting more time and attention to a final edit that will excite, entertain and inspire my readers.

Exciting Adventure

Like my prequel to this book, “From Woodstock To Eternity,” The Steel Wall harkens back to Dustin Morgan’s days as a pot pilot. You will once again find yourself in the cockpit of a drug laden plane flying toward the Bahamas. It is filled with exciting adventure, with heart pounding flights over the Caribbean, encounters with the law, and intimidating jail scenes. All these adventures lay the foundation for why the policeman asked “Are you Dustin Morgan?” at the end of “From Woodstock To Eternity.”

Entertaining Drama

When the law confronts the accused, tensions rise, and every conflict requires a decision. Anytime obstacles come our way, we respond with emotions, reason and internal struggles. There are many such instances in The Steel Wall, and they evoke intense, entertaining drama that I have infused with joy, agony and humor. You will find yourself seeing supposedly black and white issues from both the black side and the white side, and enjoying it the whole time.

Meditation, Inspiration and Revelation

Most of all, this is a Christian Adventure Drama that pulls from real life situations which require a correct understanding of God’s direction. The premise of this book is the true story of a Christian man, living a normal Christian life for four years, who is suddenly arrested for crimes he committed in his past. Most Christians don’t have that problem, and many Christians, including Dustin Morgan, don’t think that is how its supposed to work. You are not supposed to believe and repent and then go to jail.

Dustin knew he needed direction from God, but that was not so easy. It was not going to be a recipe to follow and get the desired result. It took intense Meditation, Inspiration and Revelation for him to finally come to the right understanding of what God wanted him to do. And guess what? He didn’t want to do it. Hence the struggle, and hence the need for him to encounter The Steel Wall.

I am close to publication, and the paperback will come out first on Amazon, followed by the Kindle.

I hope you enjoy it.

The Steel Wall Book Launch

The Steel Wall is Here!

“The Steel Wall” is the long awaited sequel to my previous book, From Woodstock to Eternity. In that book, after a long walk on the wild side, Dustin Morgan is enjoying a comfortable life as a Christian family man, flying for a commuter airline. But one day, taxiing in from an early morning flight, two police cars greet him, waiting for him on the ramp. The passengers disembark, the captain leaves the airplane, and an airport police officer comes up the stairs and into the cabin. He looks at Morgan and says, “Are you Dustin Morgan?” And then the book ends! No fair, right?

The Steel Wall Book Launch

The Steel Wall

Well, I have good news. After three years of writing this book, “The Steel Wall” book launch is finally here and it will be published soon. After one more proof read (there’s always one more), I will release it on Kindle Direct in both paperback and Kindle editions. I am looking at a target date of October 7, 2021.

What Happened to Dustin Morgan?

Which Direction?

I received a lot of flack from friends and readers who felt I had cheated them on the cliff hanger ending in “From Woodstock to Eternity”. They wanted to know what happened to Dustin Morgan! In this sequel, “The Steel Wall” picks up where that book left off. It shows through gripping adventure and drama the events that led up to Dustin Morgan’s arrest. During the trial, the drama is no less intense, only now it is in the spiritual realm which ultimately affects the physical realm. The long arm of the law has reached out of the past, and Dustin must make a choice. The key lies in finding out God’s direction for him.

Old Ways Against New Ways

For a sample of what From Woodstock to Eternity was all about, check out my blog, “You Get Tired of Steak.” This post shows we are hard wired to hang onto our opinions and impressions of how things should be. This is counter productive, because it obstructs our ability to change. “The Steel Wall” expands on this concept, pitting old ways against new ways and old loyalties against new loyalties.

Why Should You Read The Steel Wall?

  • The action is extremely entertaining, taking you through real life action that leads to a critical trial. It is based on a true story.
  • You get a “behind the scenes” look at the drug smuggling world in the 1980’s and the challenges that realm presented to law enforcement.
  • The story gives you both sides, detailing the points of view of the smuggling culture and the agents charged with catching them.
  • It reveals why people don’t always get the results they prayed for. We miss out on God’s blessings because we don’t know God’s eternal perspective or how God works.
  • The struggle between right and wrong goes deeper – to the point of life and death.
  • “The Steel Wall” shows God in action through Dustin’s obedience, and the blessings that followed.

I hope you will all enjoy my new book. I will post again when it is available on Amazon.

Blessings to all!

Resignation is the Enemy of Triumph!

Resignation: The Final and Most Hazardous Attitude

Why is Resignation the most insidious and hazardous attitude we can have? Because Resignation is the enemy of Triumph! It is the point when we simply give up. However, giving up comes from many different interpretations and takes on many different forms. The Aviation Instructor’s Handbook (p. 27) describes how resignation can influence pilot decisions in this way,

Pilots who think, “What’s the use?” do not see themselves as being able to make a great deal of difference in what happens to them. When things go well, the pilot is apt to think that it is good luck. When things go badly, the pilot may feel that “someone is out to get me,” or attribute it to bad luck. The pilot will leave the action to others, for better or worse. Sometimes, such pilots will even go along with unreasonable requests just to be a “nice guy.”

So, resignation can be “What’s the use?” “Someone is out to get me,” or “Go along to get along.”

What’s the Use?

How many times have you felt like this poor guy? You just get to the point where you feel enough is enough. That is the whole strategy of war… make the suffering so great for the other guy that the choice between going on or giving up is made for him. Either surrender or die. When we get to this point, we give up hope, and we feel there is no longer any benefit in pushing on… We just can’t (See my post “Can’t is a Four Letter Word!!”). It takes form in these deceptive attitudes:

  • No matter how hard I try, nothing seems to work.
  • If I am going to be accused of something I didn’t do, I might as well do it.
  • I can’t see how anything I can do will get me any farther, so I might as well give up.

The Bible gives us God’s attitude towards these feelings. The Book of James tells us to “count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” Paul the Apostle said he considered the scars he incurred from beatings for his faith to be “marks of the Lord Jesus,” and he gloried in his sufferings for the Gospel. And guess what? The Gospel is still with us today.

VICTIM MINDSET!!! BEEP – BEEP – BEEP!!!

I can’t succeed because so and so is out to get me. Who is “so and so?” It can be a person, the company you work for, or the government. In any case, this attitude is deadly, and it will kill your dreams, your willingness to work for them, and the pride you will obtain from achieving them.

People who have surrendered to a victim mindset stop striving, give up dreaming, settle for what they now have, and accept welfare and handouts. In “From Woodstock to Eternity,” Dustin Morgan quickly saw this in the communal handouts of the Hog Farm. While it was a worthy short term fix, it would not buy a steak in the long run. The victim mindset is death to success! Resist it at all cost, because Resignation is the Enemy of Triumph.

Go Along to Get Along

This is the insidious side of Resignation. It is insidious because it sounds like the proper thing to do. Another term for this is “Appeasement.” Neville Chamberlain tried this with Hitler in World War II, and we know how that turned out. Sometimes peace at all cost is not the answer… especially when it entails making peace with evil. Another word for this is compromise. Compromise means neither side gets all that it wants, and each one needs to surrender a little to meet in the middle. This is good for relationships, but it is not good for your goals. If you want to achieve total victory, going along to get along will only hold you back.

Of course, all of these principles only apply to righteous goals. When we are fighting an evil enemy, we want him to surrender, not us. As General Patton once said, “No war was ever won by dying for your country… war is won by making the other SOB die for his country.” This brings us to the next point… What is the solution to Resignation?

Fight ‘Til You Die

The 5 Hazardous Attitudes concern situations encountered in aviation. If a pilot finds himself in such a bad emergency that he thinks he has exhausted all of his options, and there is really no other way out, guess what will happen? He is going to die anyway. That is why I taught all my students to “Fight ‘Til You Die.” Keep struggling, keep thinking, keep analyzing, and by all means, Never Give Up!

Jesus even taught us, “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matt 10:28

Another way of looking at this is “Damn the torpedoes… Full steam ahead!”

Quitters Never Win, and Winners Never Quit

When I was just a five year old boy, someone told me, “Quitters Never Win.” Be careful what you say to little ones, because they might carry it with them for the rest of their lives, whether it is good or bad. The American Spirit is founded on winning and victory. Not just in war, but in our hearts, in our lives. It is the drive behind the American Dream and everyone everywhere who has a dream. We have to conquer ourselves first, in our habits, our vices, our victim mindset and our pity parties. Christians have the unique power of the Holy Spirit to do this, and it is essential for all of us. When we are free inwardly, life will surrender to us, not us surrender to life.

Macho: Ego Unleashed

Hazardous Attitudes Produce Hazardous Decisions

A Macho attitude is the fourth hazardous attitude of “5 Bad Attitudes” listed in the Aviation Instructor’s Handbook (p. 26). Although each attitude can result in a bad decision, they are also intertwined. A Macho pilot has to be anti-authority to break the rules and buzz his girlfriend’s house. He feels invincible, because he doesn’t think his engine will die, leaving him with nowhere to land. He does all this on an impulse, because his friends are in the plane. Pilots with this type of attitude will try to prove themselves by taking risks in order to show off. And, they show off because their ego is unleashed.

Ego Unleashed

Ego unleashed is the driving force behind someone’s macho attitude. He has more than normal pride and self esteem… he has a superlative sense of pride and esteem, believes he is better than everybody else, and everybody else has to acknowledge that. Thus the showing off, the swagger, the bullying and the big talk. It is especially prevalent in young gangs, where recognition is key. Some gangs even require a new member to kill somebody to prove they are fearless and macho.

Two Sides of Macho

The Village People recorded the song, “Macho Man” in 1978. The last verse of the song says,

Every man ought to be a macho, macho man
To live a life of freedom, machos make a stand

Have your own lifestyles and ideals
Possess the strength of confidence, that’s the skill
You can best believe that he’s a macho man.

There are many interpretations of the song, some saying it is a satire, a parody, and a mocking of the macho man image. However, there is another side in this verse that shows the positives of macho. Being a free spirit, taking a stand, having confidence that comes from strength and that gives more strength.

Certainly the attributes of Macho are well ingrained in the American male psyche. We all admire the Navy Seals with their fighting abilities, strict discipline and tough reputation. It’s resilient, strong and durable. It watches NASCAR and football and Barbeques steaks on the grill. It says, “Don’t Mess With Texas.”

Good Ego – Bad Ego

The bad side of Macho happens when someone gets obsessive about his ego and superiority complex. Most of us have come across people who won’t stop talking about themselves, or where they are from, or their views of life in an incessant attempt to make everybody pay attention to them. Sometimes they will keep talking louder and louder until everyone else in the room stops and is forced to hear what he says. This is bad enough in a social setting, but when it is transferred to a job or to the family, the results can be devastating.

Decisions arise out of our own perspectives. If we are cautious, we check all the variables, have a Plan B and a Plan C, and make sure we have all the supplies we need for the venture. Pilots do this for every flight, because the stakes are so high. Military planners do the same, and try to address every scenario. This is a well balanced approach to anything we do… driving, flying, adventure seeking, etc. But there is a point where one can be too cautious and never do anything. This ultimately leads to failure, frustration and disappointment in life. On the other hand, Too much risk taking can take us down into the abyss of unforeseen consequences.

From Woodstock To Eternity – No Guts No Glory

From Woodstock To Eternity

In the book, “From Woodstock To Eternity,” Dustin Morgan entertains a Macho attitude in his fearless attitude towards flying over the Caribbean to Colombia and back with loads of pot. He’s not trying to draw attention to himself, but he sees the endeavor as a gauntlet he must go through to see what’s on the other side. He knew the other side brought money, status, glory and self satisfaction. This made the risk worthwhile, although the penalty eventually caught up with him.

You can read about what happens next in the sequel “The Steel Wall,” which will be ready for publication soon.

Invulnerability: “It won’t happen to me!”

Do you have a sense of vulnerability or invulnerability? To be vulnerable is to feel open and defenseless. It may be a fear that someone is out to get you, circumstances are against you, or life in general is against you. Some people only feel vulnerable in certain situations, while others feel vulnerable all the time. On the flip side, Invulnerability means “not vulnerable.” Those who believe they are invulnerable don’t think anything can hurt them. They can do anything, go anywhere, and break all the rules. Why? Because they firmly believe, “It won’t happen to me.” This attitude can be good or bad…

Definitions of Invulnerability

Invulnerability has two definitions, with the first one logically leading to the second.

  1. Incapable of being wounded, hurt, or damaged.
  2. The false belief that one is somehow safeguarded from the dangers and misfortunes that afflict other people. 

Invulnerability by Choice: Risk and Reward

Sometimes, a sense of invulnerability draws the line between staying where you are, and engaging a higher level where there are many unknowns. In the counter culture novel, “From Woodstock To Eternity,” Dustin Morgan has to deal with his own version of invulnerability. When he ponders his first run to Texas, he thinks,

The conclusion is inevitable. He’ll always wonder what would have happened if he doesn’t. The next level is always a blind leap. You’ll never know until you try. The question is, do you have the guts to try, or is caution going to triumph over glory?

Caution over glory, or glory over caution, that is the question. In order to justify the risk, we have to accept a measure of invulnerability, that is, it won’t happen to me. The early pioneers had to deal with this issue, and some never made it… however, many did, and they reaped the rewards. No Guts, No Glory

Forced Invulnerability: Combat Under Command

We recently commemorated the D-Day landings on June 6, 1944. How many of those soldiers thought they were invulnerable? What if they felt extremely vulnerable and wanted to go back… could they? No. They were under orders to attack, and they had no choice. Although, later in life many reflected on how they felt as young soldiers and said, “I thought I could do anything. I felt invincible, like it would never happen to me.” We all know the outcome. When the need is drastic, the risks are great, and those who meet the call are the ones who make it happen.

Hazardous Invulnerability

In aviation, invulnerability is listed as one of the “5 Bad Attitudes” that contribute to airplane crashes. Many people believe that accidents happen to others, but never to them. They know accidents can happen, and they know that anyone can be affected however they never really feel or believe that they will be personally involved. Pilots who think this way are more likely to take chances and increase risk. Aviation Instructors Handbook 8-17.

For pilots, this could mean neglecting flight planning, refusal to check all the variables for that flight, and maybe even ignoring weather reports. They may try to fly outside the limits of what the plane can do, such as putting it into a roll when it is not made for such maneuvers. One that gets a lot of pilots is called “scud running,” where a pilot will try to circumvent Instrument conditions by flying under and around clouds just by reference to ground features. No bueno.

Practical Invulnerability

This aspect of Invulnerability also applies to everyday living. While there are times when we need to go “into the unknown,” so to speak, most of the time we need to count the cost. Those who make decisions thinking it won’t happen to them reject basic precautions. They don’t use seat belts, they drive drunk or get themselves into situations they have no business being in. This is not to live in a state of fear. rather, to be fearlessly reasonable. Like Dustin Morgan said,

People spend their whole lives trying to keep bad stuff from happening.  They starve themselves and jog five miles a day, trying to stay ‘healthy’, then fall down dead from a heart attack.  They turn down opportunities to see the world because they’re afraid of flying, then get run over by a Mack truck while they’re looking the other way.  Maybe I’m stupid or careless, but I just refuse to let fear keep me from experiencing all that life has to offer.”