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Be humble, Help others

Some many years ago, In what seems to be a planet far far away, I was married and had only just moved to Geneva, Switzerland and worked and managed a Store that Sold Equipment for the Professional Market. ie, Tactical, Military, Police, Security and outdoor equipment.


Anyway, My then German Wife worked at the United Nations, and she had German speaking colleagues who were going on missions to war torn places. One was Martin. On his way to War torn Rwanda. Only problem was he had never been on mission in a war torn nation. I was asked to help him prepare for his mission.


What did I do?


I first had to spend a lot of time finding out what he already knew. Which wasn’t much.


So, I spent a month training him. And helping him prepare the gear he would need for the one year he’d be there.


I tried to cover everything he would need to know. And what he would see while he was there.


We covered everything I could think about. Mine Fields, First Aid, Bug out Bag, Shooting and Weapon’s handling, Fitness, Culture, Map and Compass, Survival Skills, E&E, Dealing with the locals, Anything Field Craft related. We covered everything I could think of. And we got him ready. It wasn’t always fun, due to the reality of the situation on the ground there. But we managed it. I can still remember him back in town after 6 months, and he showed me photos of  his stolen Mercedes that the sellers showed him a picture, and then several weeks later, they presented him with the car. Also in the end. His time there was luckily uneventful. Things went very well for him. Mission accomplished.


This started a job that I did for free for people. Training I had gotten. Experiences that I had from my past. I was giving the information away. Every time a client came in who were going on a local camp-out, hike, Soldiers, Security, People going on missions with Non-Government Organisations.


I can still remember a young lady coming into the shop looking for footwear for a mission in Africa. She wanted something that would allow her feet to breath, So she could walk around like she does on any western street in the summer in Europe.


I tried to explain to her the problem with this , a European walking around in a dry country with bushes that had thorns on them that could be used as weapons. In the end, she bought a pair of Teva Sandals. Not what I had suggested,  simple pair of Army Jungle Boots.


A year later she was in my shop wearing a pair of leather sandals she had bought since returning from Africa. I notice that she was missing her little toe. It was there the year before. I asked her about it. She told me that a thorn had stuck in her foot while she was out in the African Nature. She then told me that a salesman had tried to get her to buy a better pair of boots. But she thought not too. The wound got infected, and she lost her little toe. I said nothing. But it was funny to know I was correct. Even though she lost her toe.


But wait, I need to show some humility. I don’t know it all. But what I do know, I have always tried to pass it on.


I’ve worked with several organisations to help build the right kit for their jobs. Not everyone listens. But, it’s always been cool developing gear, and kit for people. Even to this day, I love to design, make, and help people organise their gear. It hurts my eyes to see some of the stuff people bring on campouts. But, learning is making mistakes. And if the situation allows you to learn in a situation where it’s not life or death. Then better.


Always try to be humble, Always having a desire to learn. Always help others. Unless they don’t want it. Never turn your back on someone just starting out.


Of course I teach courses where people pay to learn. But I don’t over charge, nor do I charge them attending the same course twice. Sometimes learning takes longer. Sometimes teaching can be done better.


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