By Scott Shaw
I forever find it very curious how people in this world are so confrontational. I find this particularly interesting in a place like the United States where people are so on the edge of anger for absolutely no reason at all.
Have you ever been in the middle of war zone? Have you ever been in the middle of a riot? Have you ever been attacked by a gang of thugs? In those situations, there you have a reason to be confrontational – for in those situations it is kill or be killed. But, in the modern civilized world we live in a place where peace and prosperity abound. Yet, people are dominated by their anger, leading to confrontation(s). Why is this?
To provide a couple of examples. I was driving down the street today, a guy was at the stop sign in front of me, playing with his phone or something. When he didn’t drive on when the traffic was clear I gave him a little honk to wake him up to the fact that there are other people in the world. He dove on but was giving me dirty looks like he wanted to fight. He was a late middle aged man with a handicap plaque handing on his mirror. But, he wanted to fight. I laughed at him.
Yesterday, I was driving along and was about to change lanes. I put on my turn signal. As I did the car behind me immediately raced into the lane to intentionally cut me off. My initial thought was this was one of those people who try to get into accidents so they can collect insurance money. But, I responded quickly and stayed my course. The car pulls up next to me and it was female Latin woman, yelling and screaming at me. She wanted a fight. I smiled.
In a world of plenty, why doesn’t everyone have enough? Everyone wants more. When they do not get all the ALL that they feel they deserve, they embrace anger; be it road rage or whatever. They look for a fight. But, is a fight what they really want? I don’t think so.
As I often discuss, in association with the martial arts, there are those of us who train a lifetime to refine our fighting skills, solely so that we will not need to use them. Most people are not like that, however. They are not a trained fighter, yet they feel they have ability, based in anger, to go up against someone who is. Here is where many of the problems of the world begin. People enter into confrontations over their anger, when there is no reason to do so. And, in doing so, they are easily defeated.
As I always tell my students, the moment you enter into any physical altercation you must size up your opponent. As a trained fighter, you can quickly tell if the opponent you are encountering is a trained fighter or not. As I also always tell my students, the moment you realize that you are a going up against an untrained fighter, turn it down a notch. For, though you can easily beat them to a pulp, the entire reason you train in the martial arts is so you will not have to do so.
Certainly, if you are attacked you have every right to defend yourself. But, you should only fight as hard as you must fight. You should never demolish your opponent simply because you can. This is what true martial art training is all about.
Moreover, one of the main reasons one trains in the martial arts is so that they may learn mastery over their mind. From this, they will not be dominated by uncontrolled and misguided anger. Without the need to express uncontrolled, unreasonable anger, your life become so much less confrontational and free from conflict; both external and internal.
Anger, only dominates the unenlightened. Anger is the most animalistic emotion of all emotions. One who is dominated by anger exits at the lowest level of human consciousness. Yes, you may encounter people like this as you travel through your life but you do not need to allow their anger to instigate it in you. Be more than the aggressive individual(s) you encounter. If they attack you, defend yourself, but only to the necessary-end of keeping yourself free from injury. You do not have to annihilate them to win.
Just because someone is angry at you, (for whatever reason), does not mean that you have to be angry at them. Use your martial arts training to cause you to forever raise above those dominated by anger.
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