Colonel Dave Grossman: On Killing: Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs

On aspect of conflict that is particularly difficult is killing. I found Colonel Dave Grossman’s book “On Killing” particularly interesting as it covers the way modern military have used the insight of behavioral psychology to teach soldiers to reflex kill using pop up targets. This is fine except that when they go home after serving in the military they may have the same reflex and even apply it to solve domestic problems. Colonel Grossman also used a very enlightening metaphor on his blog site:

at http://www.killology.com/index.htm

“If you have no capacity for violence then you are a healthy productive citizen: a sheep. If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive sociopath–a wolf. But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your fellow citizens? Then you are a sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking the hero’s path. Someone who can walk into the heart of darkness, into the universal human phobia, and walk out unscathed.”

I am not sure there are too many sheepdogs but I salute them.

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About creativeconflictwisdom

I spent 32 years in a Fortune Five company working on conflict: organizational, labor relations and senior management. I have consulted in a dozen different business sectors and the US Military. I work with a local environmental non profit. I have written a book on the neuroscience of conflict, and its implications for conflict handling called Creative Conflict Wisdom (forthcoming).
This entry was posted in Conflict History, Conflict Processes, Philosophy of Conflict, Ways to handle conflict and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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