Lt Col. Dave Grossman in his book On Killing postulates that the old Fight or Flight model is flawed. “Fight or flight” was first described by Walter Cannon in 1929. His theory basically states that, in moments of extreme crisis peoples sympathetic nervous system kicks in causing them to either run away from or engage the obstacle. Grossman states that the sympathetic nervous system allows for two other options, previously unexplored. In addition to fight and flight he states that posturing and submitting are two other viable options.
We all face obstacles in life and how we engage those obstacles ultimately defines the type of person we become. We all wish that we were the type to stand, face and fight the giant that stands before us. There is a God given, soul deep desire to be truly brave. Unfortunately for us and our delicate ego, too often, we find ourselves running from the fight. I will say that running away can be strategic at times. Maybe you’re not prepared to fight or the timing is wrong or you’re being forced to fight on the wrong terms or it’s simply not your fight to fight… Whatever the case, from time to time, running fits the bill. The following two are cowardly;
Posturing is looking the part but not truly engaging. Its giving enough to say your tried but not enough to actually overcome the obstacle. “It tired to work it out”, “I tried to get the job”, “I tried to finish that race” and on and on and on. Its weak and you know it. You know it but others never have to if you master the art of posturing. You save face, on a certain level, to the masses but you are hardly able to look yourself in the mirror because you know your not fighting the fight only striking a pose and making noise.
Submission is the end. You see the foe and instead of fighting you simply surrender. Although this may not not mean the instant cessation of life it always brings about a kind of death. When you give way to a thing you know you should have resisted something inside of you dies.
I want to always be able to properly assess myself. I want to be able to know what are my fights to fight and to have the courage to fight them. I pray that I would not submit to something I’m called to subdue. And I pray that I spend my energy fighting my fight and not posturing for peers, praise or paparazzi.