The one time that I was beaten up was in grade skool. I wanted to sit in the back of the bus, and so plopped down with no reservations. In short
order, another kid came back and told me that I stole his seat. I told him that the seat was no one's. He then accused me of moving his backpack
(which, I guess, fell to the floor well before I got on the bus), which marked that particular seat as his - I ouright denied this.
His response was to punch me in the throat.
And with that, I got to keep the seat.
I went home and told my father, and the first question out of his mouth: "Well, did you hit him back?"
The thought had never occurred to me to return the strike.
I never sat in the back of the bus after that, and I never had another encounter with that kid, or anyone (up to this point) challenging me. I've
never had the opportunity to decide to strike back... frankly, i don't know as though I could.
I spent many years watching my father lash out at inanimate objects. (Never raised a hand to me, just random objects.) He'd take his anger out on
random things, to the point that my mother and I had to call out half-way across the yard before going near the garage, so that he knew we were coming
and wouldn't fling anything, not knowing that we were there.
I have serious issues with anger, specifically dealing with my own anger. I am physically incapable of lashing out at something. (I tried beating up a
pillow once, then thought about actually busting it open, feathers everywhere, having to explain to my mother what happened, getting in trouble for
breaking the pillow open and having to clean up the mess.... never tried to release my anger after that because I'm overwhelmed with the consequences
of my actions.)
I'm terrified of anger. I'm angry at anger!
And while I know that not every back-lash is necessarily angry (as you pointed out with your
sister, if the muscles know what they're doing, there's no emotion involved), but I think there is a certain level of anger in order to want to
strike out at another person -- whether it be for defense of people or (survival) objects... esp. if your muscles are not otherwise trained.
But, I'm well aware that there's no reset button -- and this is why I think about which side is more correct because... I don't know if I could
live with myself after hurting someone, nevermind killing someone. To kill someone is a bad thing, an incorrect action. But then it's suddenly okay
when in this or that situation... I cannot reconcile that with myself, even when it comes down to keeping me alive. (Note: My inner beast is terribly
unhappy with me for that statement. *smirks*)
As you said, this is the one problem with morals -- not everyone has studied them, not everyone admits to them, or that they apply equally to every
person. I'm working to be a good person, a student of virtue. But virtue becomes almost meaningless when other people fail to recognize it, fail to
work towards it... (and yes, to continue this thought, I'd have to shift it over to another thread.)
But, point being exactly as you put it -- not everyone is as responsible or conscious of their actions.
Meanwhile, I'm _too_ conscious!
So does the median between the two opposing sides mean that, in the end, I have to compromise my beliefs/values? I have to incur this responsibility
that I do not want, this knowledge that I'm much happier without, so as to fend off a possible-might-maybe-someday-happen situation? (be it on the
streets now, or in a survival situation)
And while I understand your will & responsibility in carrying a firearm, I've got issues with those as well. (bb guns aside)
I want to live out in the country, out on a farm. I'm a nature person, and the city does not agree with me.
My b/f wants to get a shotgun and a rifle. I hate the very thought of them being in the house, but fine -- I'll deal.
Then he says that he wants me to learn how to work and fire them.
I cannot reconcile my morals, my spirit, with that... with that knowledge.
I recognize the responsibility inherent in having such knowledge. Perhaps this is why i do not seek to acquire this knowledge? I do not want that
"But, what if someone comes in the house while I'm not there? I'd rather that you were capable of taking care of yourself..."
"And I'd rather not entertain the risk of that someone taking the gun away and using it on me. Same reason that I do not carry weapons on my
"That's all well and good, but what about if they come in the house with a gun? At least if you had a gun and knew how to use it, you'd be on equal
"This might be true, but if they surprised me - what difference would that knowledge make?"
"Better to have one and not need it, than need it and not have one."
(I hate picking the lesser of two evils...)
I know enough to never attack someone, because then they have the upper hand. (Altho I'm fairly certain that _you_ could attack someone and have the
upper hand, what with all your training.) But, that is the extent of my knowledge -- and at the point of having to truly defend myself, I guess I'd
hafta rely on my 'girlish instincts' and go cat fight style -- eyes, throat and... um.. tender bits. *ehem*
The debate still rages. It's very difficult to simply concede and go out and learn how to hurt/kill someone. This is why I liked Aikido when I
started -- the whole point was defense...
And you're right, Aikido teaches you how to fall. But the instructor said that we'd be practicing on each other -- thus, I ran a very real risk of
hurting someone in trying to teach them how to fall. If the teacher threw us, I would have felt better because then at least I know that the teacher
obviously knew what he was doing, and if I get hurt it's my own fault. (This was, I suppose I should mention, a class at my college -- not a dojo.
However, I assume that he ran his dojo the same as our class, so it wouldn't have made a difference.)
So, the method of learning defense is to become the offender... even in my head, I cannot do that.
As always, i Thank You for the heartfelt conversation.
I take your opinions to heart, and shall continue pondering and overturning this particular
(P.S. And here I am going to get a Tree of Peace tattoo... debating self-defense...