“Perhaps it’s not about knowing who the bad guys are, but knowing ourselves, which offers our best protection. Which is, after all, the fundamental mission of higher learning. Those kinds of insights can’t really be learned at gunpoint.” – NPR host Jacki Lyden, Violence Abroad Threatens Students, As Do Guns At U.S. Schools [at npr.org}

102 Responses to Quote of the Day: Self Awareness Edition

    • Based on my experience, the mission of higher learning has a lot to do with separating impressionable young people from their, their parents or a banks money.

    • I think that she’s referring to a Liberal Arts type education, much of which is graded subjectively. I’m pretty sure when I was in school taking courses in engineering, mathematics, and hard sciences self reflection was most assuredly not part of the course curriculum.

      • ^This……….

        Somehow I’m pretty sure self-reflection wouldn’t have got me through calculus or physics……….

    • Pragerism #1

      If you graduate from college in the last 30 years with a non-science or non-business degree then there is a strong likelihood that you are dumber after the 4 year effort.

      Pragerism #2

      …and if you continued on with graduate school not only are you dumb but now you’re dumb and dangerous.

  1. One thing I can say for sure about myself…I would really appreciate knowing who the bad guys are, and especially knowing I am better armed than they are.

    • I’m going way out on a limb here, contorting my brain trying to fit into her misled mindset. I think she’s saying that the point of going to college is to discover yourself. That being supposedly some kind of sacred, hallowed journey of self-reflection and personal growth, it can’t be conducted in a violent environment where people (law abiding students, professors, campus visitors, etc.) carry guns, as though the guns create violence.

      Where she’s gone wacko is that college is about education: absorbing knowledge, understanding ideas, thinking critically, and communicating effectively, not “finding yourself.”

      Her “point of a gun” remark is incendiary. People defending themselves are not at gunpoint simply because they choose to prepare for their defense. Nor are they threatening others and pointing guns at them.

      This lady has a peculiar view of what college is, and a warped view of who concealed carriers are.

      • Wow! What college did you go to? I always thought they were places to further indoctrinate the (former) prisoners as to the overall wonderfulness of women, reinforce that “violence never solved anything” meme and condition you to vote Democrat.

        • For undergraduate, I went to apparently one of the last remaining bastions of serious higher education. Although, you’re right, college is college, and it’s tough to get out without at least a Minor in the topics you mentioned, no matter where one attends.

        • From what I’ve seen, it generally depends on what you went to college FOR. In a general sense, those type of topics aren’t lauded in the courses of study that will actually get you employed when you graduate….though you WILL still encounter them in the course of your “general education.”

          Most of us in the engineering department took gen ed courses at the same time. It still warms my heart to see the look on our sociology professor’s face when he realized that not one student in the room really cared what his opinion was….

      • Elementary school = A place where children are sent to memorize stuff from books to pass a test and get a grade to move on to the next level.

        Highschool = A place adolescents are sent to memorize stuff from books to pass a test and get a grade to move on to the next level.

        College = A place adults go to memorize stuff from books to pass a test and get a degree.

        This process everyone is debating where you grow as a person, a result of deep introspection….
        That’s called LIFE. Deep introspection happens as a result of every great challenge in life. To say that only people who go to college grow as people is just, well, ignorant and uneducated. And yes, some of the deepest introspection can happen at either end of a gun. Most people ONLY stop to think about their lives when they feel their lives are about to end. Hence the whole idea that “your life flashes before your eyes before you die” no it doesn’t there isn’t time. Some people just choose only to dwell on their regrets instead of fighting to live.

        The quote just illustrates a point I made in a comment to a previous article. Forgive me for quoting myself here but… There is a key misunderstanding here and this quote just supports my analysis.

        Antis live in a magical world where there are no armed citizens and thus cannot even conceive of such a thing in their mind, more or less see the good armed self defense does. That’s why they will never see armed citizens as the answer.
People who have never met gun owners think that gun owners are snagle toothed, snarling, monsters; that stand 8 feet tall, with ragged hair and claws, that at a monuments notice, with no provocation, will pull out untold numbers of guns with multiple arms and fire randomly and for hundreds of rounds. There are 2 worlds in America.
The first is a world where you don’t own a gun, no one you have ever met owns guns, and you cant even imagine what people who own guns are like. So you turn on the news and see the only person with a gun you’ve ever seen outside a movie, shooting up a school or a mall or committing some horrible crime. So in this first world, that becomes the unconscious definition of all “people who have guns”: Future mass murders. Without exception. For the Antis there is no such thing as a good citizen with a gun.
The second world is a culture of personal responsibility and responsible gun ownership, where you turn on the news and are simply awestruck, dumbfounded, by people who not only lack the tools to protect themselves but for some unimaginable reason want to come and take your tools right out of your hands. (Even if they need guns to take guns)

        I know these 2 worlds exist, and only these 2, because in my life I have lived in both. There is no in-between. When you live in the 1st you can’t imagine the horrors of the second. Once you live in the second you can’t imagine the vulnerability of being disarmed in the first. Thankfully I’m recovering from my time in the first. But I think its important that gun owners understand that the Antis don’t understand nor do they want to. By our very existence we are the stuff of their nightmares. The debate isn’t about logic or statistics or the truth. On a government level the motives may be different, but I am talking about the personal level. The Antis you see in walking down the street, are conditioned to fear gun owners like a child fears the Boogie Man.
They would happily live in a world of common rapes at knife point as long as no one had any scary guns. They don’t care about the truth.


        Sorry for redundancy.

    • “Bad things happen to other people. Not me.

      “But I am a Pontificating Expert on the bad things that happen to other people, and I know that when bad things DO happen to them, it’s their fault for not thinking properly.”

      If I didn’t know who she is, that’s what I’d think she was saying. And I’d reply that the fundamental mission of higher learning should include empathy and solidarity with the vulnerable.

      But we have repeatedly seen that the Ed Biz emphasizes a kind of elitist sociopathy. You know, concentrate everyone in a faut town then disarm them and let the world know they are ideal victims. If victimized, let the TA wrestle the armed killer. Throw a stapler at the armed attacker. Then wave the bloody shirts forever.

      However, if this Wisconsinite-turned-Brooklyn-hipster is considered on a more individual basis, the whole issue of “self awareness” becomes somewhat more disturbing:
      http://www.us.penguingroup.com/static/rguides/us/daughter_of_the_queen_of.html

      She’s been on NPR since 1979. She is part of that generation of the mediaocracy that hasn’t had a new idea in four decades…and is so far removed from how most of us live and operate within this world, and the daily forces we face, that she’s irrelevant.

  2. Is this advice about suicide??? Or about the dangers of student exchange programs? Or just a bunch of random words strung together … NPR? Yeah, I’ll go with random words

  3. She must be one of those “cant trust anyone with guns because I dont trust myself with a gun” types who’s always going on about killing or assaulting people she doesnt like.

    • “Can’t trust anyone with a gun, because I can’t trust myself with one.” Thanks!!! That’s a great summary statement of many people’s attitude towards firearms. You have helped me to understand the change in attitude that many people have towards firearms after they take an introduction to firearms from me. I now realize that we who are familiar with firearms feel safe with them. People who fear firearms don’t know about them and therefore do not feel safe with them. It is a simple fundamental mechanism.

    • Maybe those people know they’ve been brainwashed and they’re afraid holding a gun will activate them like a sleeper cell or the movie “the manchurian candidate.”

  4. What does this even mean? This is the kind of ivory tower elite pablum that passes for deep thought that is, upon reflection, as shallow as a pothole. I should know, I have a masters degree,

    What she should have said is it is impossible to know who the bad guys are, so know your limitations, and be prepared. Because a phd in bs won’t stop a determined bad guy.

    Oh, and while no one wants to learn about themselves at gun point, some of the greatest writers of the 21st century became who they were while embroiled in 2 world wars, because near death experiences and massive suffering tends to bring out the spiritual philosopher inside.

    Tl/dr this chick is full of ivory tower bull refuse.

    • I had a professor once who didn’t care too much for higher education as a whole, oddly enough. He used to say a B.S. was, well, b.s., and an M.S. was “more of the same.” Having a Ph.D. just qualified one to “pile it higher and deeper.”

  5. I don’t think I have ever read a more worthless piece of advice.

    I would actually like to argue the exact opposite. You probably will learn a lot about yourself at gunpoint. Specifically, you will learn a good deal about your stance on guns. Sure on paper you may think guns are scary and evil, but when one is pointed at your face you may reconsider and wish you had one. You may also be questioning why you chose not to take the defense of you and your loved ones seriously.

  6. I get that she wasn’t wanting a serious reply, only ideological conformity, but here goes.

    Introspection is good, and knowing yourself is basic to the human experience. In a world where evil exists, one of the things a person should know about themselves is how they will face that evil, should it present the opportunity. Will you freeze? Submit? Run? Or fight? What will you fight with? Will you save yourself or intervene on behalf of others?

    I have learned that violence must be met with violence. I have learned through hard experience that I can fight, and that I can win. I can also lose, and so I take steps to minimize that risk. Part of that is the carry of a weapon. The gun is an extension of who I am. It is the tool of my identity. It is the symbol and the instrument of my personal inclination to face whatever comes. The basic duty of man is the responsible application of violence to counter the less responsible. It is who I am, who we are. Because there comes a time when philosophizing is counter-productive. When the wolf comes, will you contemplate his true nature, try to reason? Or will you put him down?

  7. “Violence Abroad Threatens Students, As Do Guns At U.S. Schools”

    Wait so violence abroad is the threat…

    in the US the gun is the threat… But apparently there’s no violence in the US?

    “knowing ourselves, which offers our best protection. ”

    Yes Absolutely – Know your Enemy & Know yourself. Know your limitations – and strive to overcome them.

  8. Translation: “I don’t really have anything useful or insightful to say, but I still want to sound intelligent. Please ignore my pretentiousness.”

  9. We need to come up with a version of the word “gaydar” for hoplophobes ’cause it’s going off big-time looking at her.

  10. So, is she saying that she is going to give up her armed private security and put big Gun Free Zone signs all around her home in the no longer gated community she lives in? Cause I can’t figure out anything else she is saying.

  11. If NPR thought they were preaching to the Feinstein Singers Lachrymosa Chorale, they were dead wrong: the opinions in the ‘comments’ section are running almost 3:1 in favor of gun rights and an armed citizenry.

    And these aren’t angry anonymous comments: you have to register with NPR first.

    • Now THAT was 1000x more useful and insightful than that ridiculous quote. I think I just learned something that might just save my life one day.

  12. “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” — Sun Tzu

    I agree with her. It’s better to learn about yourself behind a gun than in front of one.

    And training. if you wait till you are being held at gun point to think about your options, you won’t have any options.

    • That is one of those meaningless sayings that is on par with Ms Lyden’s piece. I know myself and I sitting in a Sherman and I know my enemy, he is in the 1st SS Panzer Divison and is driving a Tiger. You’re damn right I fear the outcome.

      • Oddly enough, any time I start to complain about how tough something is, I try to imagine what the 82nd Airborne felt, jumping out of a perfectly good C-47 to go pick a fight with one of the most dangerous armored forces that has ever rolled across this planet, with a crap compass, an intel map that’s days old, and a M1 Carbine that’s probably going to hit you in the face and crack your jaw when you land.

        And this weirdo gets a quasi-introspective about how the statistically insignificant risk of being shot on campus might adversely affect getting to know yourself…

  13. I’d say just the opposite, you can learn a lot about yourself when someone’s pointing a gun at you. Not that blissful ignorance is such a bad thing, though.

    • I was about to say the same thing. A great many people have discovered things about themselves they did not know under precisely those circumstances.

      • Actually, I was just thinking of that Mighty Mighty Bosstones song – ‘I’m not weak, I’ve just never been tested.’ Probably true though.

    • I agree completely. You get to find out what’s inside you and those around you real quick the first time you take fire. From everything my experiences dealing with the “intellectual” crowd from places of higher learning has taught me is all they know about themselves is they are capable of blowing massive amounts of money on worthless degrees and have the uncanny ability to look down on everyone around them.

  14. Yeah…..about that. So waht your saying is no guns on campus? Or are you aluding to CWP holders walking around pointing guns at people? Because that is absolutely fantasy on your part. Why do people feel certain locations must be free of one right but absurd in another regard.

  15. Ohhhh sh*t! So, when that bad guy tried to rob me at the ATM, it was because I didn’t know myself well enough?

    Damn, here I thought it was all because he was a big, piece of garbage that wanted to take my money… Well, I guess that makes him the victim of my inability to be more self aware.

  16. I know myself, I am more than happy to use my natural, civil and constitutionally protected right to self defense. I didn’t have to learn it at gunpoint, but I have practiced it on three continents. Thanks for the validation, National Propagandist Radio.

  17. Unicorns, unicorns, unicorns!

    Must be nice to be a libral. Nobody is responsible for their actions, nobody is responsible for their own protection, everyone simply needs to be in touch with their feelings.

  18. OMG! I read that and laughed out loud! I don’t think you could top that for sheer stupidity if you worked on it for a week! Then, maybe if you got an infinite number of monkeys typing on an infinite number of typewriters….

    Lady, I have thought about it long and deeply, and I know myself pretty well…I choose to refuse to be a victim and to use my gun to facilitate that personal commitment if ever threatened with personal violence against myself and/or my family.

    So thanks for your suggestion! It worked great for me! Now, go out and find a junkie, career criminal, serial killer or some other such “unenlightened” person and try to convince him/her of your POV. Be sure to wear jewelery, carry a bunch of cash and credit cards and act like a know-it-all, better than thou, condescending, intellectual Liberal. Let us know how that worked for you. We’d love to know.

  19. I looked at her picture, and I immediately though “self important condescending liberal about to bash gun ownership in the absence of any sort of factual experience.” Then I though, don’t judge, man. After reading her statements, my original thought stands.

    • That shawl & blouse give her an Emily Litella look. The dark background evokes living alone in seclusion like Emily Dickinson. The smile looks forced & self conscious. Earrings look like running lights.

      A woman trapped in the prison of her worldview. No bars needed on the windows. Sad.

  20. Does TTAG just look for the fugliest liberals to paste on an article? Damn, i haven’t even finished my coffee and my stomach is doing turns

  21. If I might paraphrase…
    “He who knows BOTH his enemy AND himself, will not meet defeat in a thousand battles” – Sun Tzu, “the art of war”

    But, I guess its quite too much expect todays brain dead “comsumers” to know this……

      • Yea, I checked out that site, kinda entertaining in a not so serious vein. Read the publisher’s write up about the piece linked, its funny as all hell.

      • It is far more important to peruse the comments and remember that the comments therein represent the majority of our “Generation Y/Millenial” Feminist tribe – of which the pictured author is no doubt a part.

  22. Another example of an over edumacated (brainwashed) intellectual without common sense. When violence presents itself we (on average) resort to our fight or flight instincts and the time in which that happens doesn’t allow for a self awareness inventory to take place. The criminal isn’t there to have a philosophical debate with you they are there to get what they want from you by whatever means at their disposal.

  23. Why are they so damned obsessed with guns?

    And, no, it’s not higher education that helps you know yourself, it’s living in the real world and facing life adversities that not only does that but gives you the chances to become who you want to be.

  24. Well, this is out of context, so I’m going to interpret her comment as encouraging gun owners to get training on self defense, because learning your self defense capabilities cannot be learned at gunpoint.

  25. If bad people ever invade this nice womans home, tie her hands behind her back, force her to her knees and put a gun to her head right before the trigger is pulled she can say to herself “Upon further and deep reflection of my current situation I am pleased that I have stayed true to my principles and did not buy a gun to protect myself. BOOM! By the way, my wonderful daughter tells me that BS, MS, PHD mean bullshit, more shit, pile it higher and deeper. She owns a PHD in chemistry, is a liberal, votes democrat, carries a gun and is a great shot.

  26. Being in the moment of violence and surviving it does tend to lend a great deal of clarity on oneself. I believe it was Shan-Yu who said:

    “Live with a man 40 years. Share his house, his meals. Speak on every subject. Then tie him up, and hold him over the volcano’s edge. And on that day, you will finally meet the man.”

  27. It’s easy to self-reflect when you’re in an NPR studio behind a couple of locked doors with an armed security guard in the building.

  28. While I was almost asleep last night I remembered an apropos quote by Jeff Cooper that also encapsulates the same mentality succinctly:

    “An unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it.”

    I wish I could have lay claim my own badass quote like Tarrou but there it is.

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