Don’t like it? Then don’t put up with it!
I read a story once which inspired me. Apparently this is based on real events, though I cannot personally verify the authenticity of the story.
Nevertheless, the moral of the story illustrates an aspect of living which I both agree with and think should be a major player in the day to day affairs.
That is individual’s application of ethics and justice to life around them so as to make a better and safer world for all to live and prosper in.
Some sort of justice function must exist to protect decent people. And I don’t mean the justice system imposed by the state, but I mean justice as applied by individual persons based on their own sense of ethics and integrity.
The story went something like this:
“When I was a young boy, the neighborhood, a block around, and the road from home to school were unusable. A bully about five years older than I named Leon Brown exerted a very bad influence over other children. With extortion by violence and blackmail and with corruption he made the area very dangerous. The road to school was also blocked by the 5 O’Connell kids, ranging from 7 to 15 who stopped and beat up any smaller child. Due to the bullies one couldn’t go to school safely. But if one didn’t go to school one was hounded by the truant officer, a hulking brute at that.
When I was about six I got very tired of a bloody nose and spankings because my clothes were torn and avidly learned “lumberjack fighting” a crude form of judo from my grandfather.
With this “superior technology” under my belt I searched out and found the youngest O’Connell kid alone, a year older than I, and pulverized him. Then I found and took on the next in size, alone, and pulverized him. After that the O’Connell kids, all 5, fled each time I showed up and the road to school was open and I convoyed other little kids so it was safe.
But the much older bully Leon Brown was still wreaking havoc in school.
So one day I got up on a 9 foot high board fence and waited until the 12 year old bully passed by and leaped off on him, boots and all, and after the dust settled that neighborhood was safe for every kid in it.
So I learned about justice. Kids would come from blocks away to get help in their neighborhood. Finally for a mile around it was a safe environment for kids.”
From this story (true or fictional) I observed two things:
- Strength is nothing without skill and technique and reversely, without skill and technique the strength of brutes is a matter of contempt.
- Strength and violence has two sides, one for good and one for evil. It is the intention behind it that makes the difference.
Looking over history briefly it can be noted that those who sought only peace were often the one butchered. The thousands of years of Jewish passivity earned them nothing but slaughter. That still doesn’t make “Love thy neighbor” invalid but rather gives a perspective of what you should do if your lovely neighbor is getting harmed.
So things do not simply go right because one is holy or one is good. Things run right because one makes them run right.
Justice is a necessary action to any successful society. Without it the brute attacks the weak, the decent and the productive. There are true sociopaths. They are few. They sometimes rise up to being in charge and then all things decay. They are essentially psychopathic personalities. They want high positions in order to ruin others. Such as Genghis Khan, Hitler, psychopathic criminals, etc., want power only to destroy. Covertly or overtly they pay only with death. They arrived where they arrived, in charge of things, because nobody when they were on their way up said, “No”. They are monuments to the cowards, the weak and gullible people who didn’t put period to them while they were still only small bullies and still vulnerable.
If someone doesn’t hold the line, all become victims of oppression.
A person with a good sense of ethics and justice is capable of making the environment safe. That environment is of course unsafe for the bully…
If a confrontation and appeal to reason is not working, well, find a 9 foot high board fence. . .
Well, there was a sort of bastard justice in his view of the case, and so I dropped the matter. When you can’t cure a disaster by argument, what is the use to argue?
– Mark Twain
The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.
– Albert Einstein
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
– Edmund Burke
Criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.
A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.
– George Bernard Shaw
The price of inaction is far greater than the cost of making a mistake.
– Meister Eckhart
Iron rusts from disuse; water loses its purity from stagnation… even so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind.
– Leonardo da Vinci
I never worry about action, but only inaction.
– Winston Churchill