The Heart & Soul Of The Issue

After the events last week in Connecticut, I didn’t want to send out a promo on golf.  People are asking, “How do we stop these ‘Random Acts of Violence’?” When it comes to golf and teaching the game, I always look for the solutions / corrections and design a process to follow for a successful result.

When someone is slicing the ball, there are many traits of a slicer that all influence the face to open at impact. The band-aid method says make your grip stronger or turn it to the right and that will fix it.

That may do it for the next round but it’s not a solution to the root cause that stems somewhere else.

Even in the smallest partials of our weekly “Hump Day” videos, there is always a solution. That’s truly how we get better at anything. It’s not putting a band-aid on something that’s broken or stacking another error on top of another and just creating compensations that truly will fall apart in the end.

When looking at what is happening to our culture and the many acts of violence experienced recently, we ask, “How can we stop the violence”? We could build higher walls and fences around our schools. Like the slicer adjusting the grip to fix the slice.  But would it get to the heart of the issue? I don’t really think so. We could oppose stronger threats on gun ownership. But would this address the source of the problem? I’m not convinced.

So where is the virus and where does it stem from? If you’re not aware, I own and operate one of the largest Junior Golf Academies in the country and spend my days working with children. Our team will see 300 kids a week – 52 weeks a year. I’m in the kid business and understand their tick. More importantly, their parents. I believe we should focus on what’s going on at home, and in our hearts and minds. Many people are hurting and feel like they have no one on their side.  I think we all acknowledge the situation, but what actions can we take to help?

Dr. William Dodson was the superintendent of Pearl Public High Schools in Jackson, Mississippi when a student took the lives of nine other students. He recently wrote a book titled, If Only I Had Known. The book covers the strategy he’s found which has stopped countless attacks. It’s a moving book and answers his questions. “What could we have done to prevent the attack”?

Dr. Dodson learned about the strategy from Mr. Dan Korem. Mr. Korem, author of The Rage of the Random Actor has been training schools, law enforcement, the military, and businesses, on how to prevent attacks before they happen. He developed the Missing Protector Strategy for at- risk youths and profiling system to help us identify those who might decide to hurt people around them. This is a behavioral profile – one that has been used to thwart the impulse to commit catastrophic acts in schools, organizations, neighborhoods and in combat. Mr. Korem identified a three-point intervention that “takes the wires apart” so a rage-filled person with the Random Actor traits doesn’t “detonate” – and doesn’t want to hurt those around them. This intervention also guides a person out of the Random Actor Profile without racial, ethnic, or gender stereotyping. And it works.

Just like with this thing we call our golf game, I think we can all benefit from researching possible root causes, taking charge of our own actions, and making deliberate efforts to change. As we deliberate our actions in light of Friday’s attack, may I suggest a few options? Considering the roots of our current wave of violence, you may start or join a program to help at-risk individuals, or get training for your school or organization. Mr. Korem offers guidance in his books and offers training for school districts, among others. For schools, the training is inexpensive, often only $1.50 per child.

Right now we all want to take action, and I truly believe this type of training can help save lives.

So while we look around for answers, let’s look for the root cause, take time to learn, and reach out to those around us.

What better time than during the Christmas season – a season of hope?

Shawn Humphries

Co-Authored with Carrie Vitt