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Friday, June 19, 2015

Discretion vs Valor

Discretion vs Valor

  • Prov. It is good to be brave, but it is also good to be careful; if you are careful, you will not get into situations that require you to be brave. Son: Can I go hang gliding with my friends? 
  • Father: No Son: But they'll say I'm chicken if I don't go! Father: Discretion is the better part of  valor, and I'd rather have them call you chicken than risk your life.

Growing up I was involved in two physical altercations by the age of 17.  It seems that back in the 60 the era of peace rallys and “love ins” physical altercations were not the norm.  On both occasions I got involved because someone else was getting beat up.  The funny thing is that on both occasions younger brothers of friends were being picked on by school bullies.  Had the fights been fair, one against one, I might not have gotten involved, but we all know that bullies don’t get into fair fights.

It seems that I was born with a good supply of common sense, a quality further enhanced by the special attention and upbringing by my parents.  While getting into altercations was never my first option, how to survive one or a plan to come out victorious was always a consideration.

As an example I never wanted to scar someone’s face, because the last thing I wanted, was to have someone remember me every time he looked in the mirror.  My goal was to disable my opponent to take the fight out of him.  My discretion with honor was the following, I lettered in football, wrestling, and track and field.  I had a reputation for being gutsy, and also the ability to withstand pain. Any of you readers that participated in football “the first sport of the school year,” must remember the excruciating pain that went with football practice.  The temperature alone was a 106 or better experience in mid to late August.  I remember being so tired and sore that I would go to sleep without dinner.  By the end of the second week of practice the body adjusted.

Our Lettermen’s Club was a group made up of all accomplished (proven) bravery type individuals and the old “All for one and one for all,” was alive and well.  We were never alone as individuals especially in our own town.  I was fortunate to have two memberships: the lettermen’s club, and my cultural club.  During the agricultural growing season from March to October a big influx of seasonal working families came to the area and their children were enrolled in school.  The high school age kids enjoyed hanging out with my group, and those that didn’t seek me out, I purposely went after their friendship because I wanted them feel like they belonged.  They were not seen as outsiders if they were part of an accepted school group that hung out together during lunch and free periods.

The two groups that I belonged to kept me from being tested by anyone that might want to gain a reputation by challenging me.  You see if I acted tough, and hung out with tough people no one would dare to challenge me.  And that is exactly how it worked out. That is until I found myself alone and deciding to intervene on two occasions when someone was being pummeled by two bullies. 

The first time I was winning the fight but I knew that I couldn’t last much longer fending these two guys off.  You never want to show your weakness, so they had no clue that the tide was about to change in their favor.  Fortunately a member of the school board was driving by, and he broke up the fight and took us to the Principal’s office.  Our next class was PE, so the instructor had us settle it with the gloves on while everyone in class watched.  One on one wasn’t fair for the bullies so I dispatched the first one with four punches and one swift kick to the groin (the coach said “no rules”).  The second one chose not to participate,

The second time I intervened to help someone, I once again drew the attention of the two bullies for interfering and this fight didn’t last long because my strategy was to disable them.  Every time they took a swing at me I would side step it and hit them with my knuckles on the boney part of the wrist, two or three hits like that and they decided they didn’t hate me that much.  By the way as they walked away they were mumbling that I didn’t fight fair.  Go figure.

As I’ve gotten older, I still feel safe because I usually have my two bodyguards handy; Mr. Smith and Mr. Wesson.  I am no longer likely to try to break up a fight, thank God for cell phones and 911.  The best is yet to come…………

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