Shoot From The Hip! “I bet you can’t hit that,” my friend said as he pointed to an apple on the ground.As a twelve year old the “BB” rifle I held in my hands was still a bit large and heavy.With determination in my face I turned from my friend and lowered the rifle to my waist as I looked toward the apple.The world around me just went silent as every bit of confidence and experience welled up on the inside of me until it crested in its own internal stillness.With the rifle resting in my hands at my left hip I shifted my body into position and squeezed the trigger with a “clicking pop”!The apple on the ground jumped as the tiny “BB” hit it dead center!My friend let out an “ah” as if he expected me to “miss” the shot.I stood next to him with a superior poise and just smiled with delight. “Dead-Eye”―that’s what my father called me in hopes of gaining a hunting partner.He was a bit disappointed when I didn’t want to shoot animals with anything but a camera but he still bragged about my ability to hit the target.While most kids my age were being denied “BB” rifles with the phrase―“you’ll shoot your eye out”―I was being schooled in the art gunmanship. “Never point a gun at anyone―even if you think it’s not loaded”.That was one of the first and most important rules my father repeatedly cited.Safety was first.My father taught me exactly how to handle a gun and how not to handle one!On that cool overcast afternoon in the backyard my friend knew that I was trained and a “good shot” with a gun sight but he wanted to “throw me a curve” and told me that I could not hit the apple from a “waist shot”. Many times life comes at you with a “put up or shut up” proposition and even though you may have never done something before, you must take action.There’s no time to study the situation further you just have to make a decision you are willing to live with.In times like these you never throw caution to the wind but understand that you can call upon your life experience and inner knowing to guide you.Pull up all of your resources and know-how from within and remember your training and successes.Just let the world around you go silent, quiet your inner self and―“shoot from the hip”!
(This article is my response to some folks who treated me pretty unfairly.I can’t change them or the situation but I can take a disappointment, regroup and refocus my attention and turn a tragedy into a triumph that inspires others all over the world!)