It can be a difficult thing living in a world with so many other people around you. We all have different ideas of how things should be, what we want, the kind of acceptable behavior, and myriad other variables that make social interactions extremely complex and difficult. Most of us just want to live our lives in peace and do the best we can, but sometimes we aren’t given that option.
There will be times in every person’s life when they are forced to make a choice between accepting what is and standing up to fight against something wrong. In our modern society, we are highly encouraged to refrain from any sort of conflict based behavior, and in some ways this is a very good thing. An orderly society, when that order is just and focused on liberty, can be an extremely safe and peaceful place to live.
On the other hand, when a society places order above the rights and will of the people, then we start running into some serious issues, especially when some people in that society decide to start breaking away from the group to serve their own interests, many times in whatever manner they see fit. This is when we start seeing significant levels of criminal activities. The worst of this is when people decide that they no longer care about the law and are willing to do what they want through force.
Where it gets very difficult is knowing when to push back against such behavior. Obviously, if a person has violent intentions and you have no realistic means of self defense, your options are quite limited. If you are mugged on the street by a thug carrying a knife or gun and you have nothing but your phone and wallet, there is virtually no chance that any resistance will result in a positive outcome. Despite the heroic fantasies we get from the movies, the likelihood is that you will be seriously injured or killed. It’s best to just let them have what they want, assuming all they want is your belongings.
The natural assumption after this is that if you have the mans to resist, then you should do so. However, the variables are a bit more complex than this very black and white statement. The assumption that you should protect yourself by any means necessary in all situations can be a very dangerous way to conduct yourself. Many times we can make deadly mistakes when we decide that we will use force in situations that don’t necessarily warrant it.
For example, if someone is trespassing on your property in the middle of the night, and you believe they are trying to steal from you, depending on where you live you may be justified in protecting your property with deadly force. In many circumstances, most people wouldn’t judge you too harshly for your actions, but in some situations you may be criminally liable. Assuming there are no legal consequences, however, you still have to live with the fact that you seriously injured or killed someone. Is that really worth taking a life?
This article isn’t meant to be a judgement on the actions of people or their behavior. The point is to raise the issue of starting to think critically about how you approach conflict in your life. You may feel totally justified in using force in certain situation, and you could certainly be justified in doing so, but have you thought through why you feel this way? If you can defend that thinking with logical though, then you can feel confident in your actions. If you can’t, you should step back and seriously consider why you think the way you do. Thoughtful violence can be effective and justified; angry response will almost always get you into trouble, whether that be with the law or just some person you misjudged.
What do you think about fighting back? Have you been in a situation where you were under threat and had to make a choice? How did it turn out? Could it have been different if you had a better philosophy? Many times we react out of fear or anger, and it ends up being random chance that determines the outcome. Taking the time to work through who you are and what you are about can make the all the difference in a dangerous encounter.
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