The past eight months have gone by like a whirlwind. A lot has happened in my life, both personally and professionally. One of the coolest things has been the opportunity I was given to write this column. When I pitched the idea to Mrs. Bonnie, much to my surprise, she agreed immediately without having read anything I’d ever written. Truth be told, this weekly column was my first attempt since high school at writing anything other than a police report – so there was no material for me to offer for review. I now realize that it was simply her generous nature and kindheartedness that prompted her to take a chance on writing rookie like me. With no real idea of where this thing was headed, I started typing. With the advice of some folks way smarter than I’ll ever be, I managed to complete 29 articles – this, the 30th being the final installment – at least for a while.
Plato once said, “A wise man speaks because he has something to say; a fool because he has to say something.” I don’t want to fall into the later category. I had some things to say, and I said them. In an effort not to overstay my welcome, and to not fall victim to the Dunning-Kruger Effect, I feel now is the time for me to retreat out of the tactical writing arena – at least for now. I simply don’t want to become repetitive, and more importantly, I don’t want to continue speaking now that my area(s) of “expertise” (a word I’m using very loosely here) have been exhausted.
I have an idea brewing for another column, but I don’t know exactly when that will take shape. In the meantime, I will be working on another project – one that will take me well outside my comfort zone, but that ‘m hopeful will come to fruition sooner rather than later.
If you have been a follower of this article, I can’t express how much you tuning in has meant to me. The words and messages of encouragement from friends, family, acquaintances, and even some total strangers have been truly inspiring. If you missed any installments and want to catch up, the articles will be re-run, in order, in the Bienville and Claiborne Parish Journals, respectively.
Thank you for allowing me into your inboxes and your Facebook feeds and thank you for allowing me to speak on the things I’m passionate about. Most importantly, thank you for listening. I have no idea how many people this small article has reached, but if it helped even one person, it has been worth every hour of typing. Thank you, Mrs. Bonnie for being a huge support and for teaching me to write as if I was having a conversation with the reader(s). Thank you, Seth for teaching me exactly where commas, hyphens, and capital letters belong – although I’m certain I still don’t fully get it.
Staying true to form, I’ll leave you with a quote by the late James Yeager, MFCEO of Tactical Response, in Camden Tennessee. “You will not rise to the occasion. You will not default to your level of training. You will only default to the level of training you have mastered.” Remember, folks, bad guys are everywhere, and they’re constantly perfecting their craft – getting better at being bad. Are you getting better at being able to spot them, avoid them, or defeat them if necessary? If not, you need to fix that. No one is responsible for your safety but you.
Thank you all again for reading. I plan to be back sometime down the road, but until then…
Avoid what you can. Defeat what you can’t.
(Ryan Barnette is not a licensed attorney or a medical provider, and no information provided in “Slicing the Pie,” or any other publication authored by Ryan Barnette should be construed, in any way, as official legal, or medical advice.)