August 28, 2018, Ohio, USA
Jeff is a wonderful young man with a heart of gold. The blog he has written comes from personal pain, loss and grief but contains a powerful message, and it is a message of love.
I feel it is a message of being strong, not cold as the title might suggest. To have a heart that is powerful enough to resist the negative influences of others. From his pain he forges a message of caring, of taking care of those you love, and of moving forward. It is a message of being strong enough to choose the right path for you.
Heart of Stone
by Jeff Webb
Many things have happened to me over the past 4 months. I watched a close friend lose his dad, had a cousin die at a young age, a family friend succumb to cancer at 51 and most recently, lost my uncle whom was very close to me. During this time, it wasn’t all bad, I got to have the privilege to teach at Purdue, visit Milwaukee, watch my daughter play soccer for the first time, and watch my wife get into amazing shape by watching her diet and exercising!
My uncle passing has been hard. He was a mentor to me on many things. His financial insight was amazing to say the least, his humor much like mine and passion for earning what you have by not being afraid to go out and work. He also taught me that decisions need to be base on if it makes sense, not feelings. Stop caring about what everyone else will think and be simple, does it make sense? Great advice. Even his music taste has been shared with me… Talk radio. My personal music taste is a bit more rounded than his. For instance, I like to hear guitar, drums and vocals that are more aligned to a beat than political stance.
What’s odd about his passing is that, while sudden, it wasn’t unexpected. He liked to be in control of his life completely. He was a wrestler in high school, stock broker and in corporate sales. It was his way or no way. Many times, he’d cook for a backyard party and he’d ask everyone how they’d like their steak. If anyone said more than medium rare, he made them a burger because he ‘wouldn’t dare ruin a good steak’ and those people would only find out when their plate had their ‘special’ steak. He was steadfast, honest and caring at the same time.
Over the past year, his health had began to diminish rapidly. It was later discovered that his liver had failed and his time was limited. He went from a 230 pound man to less than 150 pounds. On August 18, his decided that this was not how he wanted to live and took it upon himself to end his life. This made many friends and family angry with him. Those of us who were close to him were hurt and saddened beyond belief but not surprised. You see, this was him. It was on his terms and he refused to let anything beat him. Much like a samurai who would fall on their own sword, he refused to let his imminent death be slow, painful and on the terms of his disease. He had control until the end.
I took this especially hard and my music taste became much darker, heavier and more focused on the type of rock that would make most modern day parents blush. During this time, I’ve also started reading a motivational book titled, ‘The subtle art of not giving a f@ck’. And yes, it’s actually a good read. In my state of unusual grieving, I heard a new song from a familiar band that didn't fit the mold of what I was currently listening to. A few lines in the song resonated with me during this time.
Here is the paraphrased portion that struck me..
Rather be the hunter than the prey… Your standing on the edge, face up ‘cause you’re a natural… A beating heart of stone, you gotta be so cold to make it in this world.
All of these things together made me realize something. If you want to be able to protect yourself and your family, make the time and effort to train! Seems rather simple. People usually don’t because they don’t have the time, they’re not in good enough shape or, the one they never admit but we all know is probably most common, it’s not the cool thing to do.
If you want to be able to protect yourself and your family effectively, you need to train! Develop a beating heart of stone, stop caring what others will think or say and take responsibility for your own life. Trust me, when those close people are involved in an attack or worse, you’ll wish you could have trained at any cost to prevent it. If and when things go bad for me and I must defend myself or loved ones, I know exactly where I’ll be. I’ll be standing on the edge, face up and not sorry with my own heart of stone.
Jeff Webb, IKI Krav Maga certified instructor and Black Belt.