For those of you "macho" men brave enough to read and try and process the message I have been giving, I am sure you are thinking, who is this guy? He is sure in touch with his feminine side but what about his masculine? What makes him an authority on this subject?
Well, in answer to that, I am not an authority, only a guy who has learned certain lessons about himself through the experiences he has been through. I guess it is time to cut through the pretty words and get to the point.
As I have said on many occasions, I am quite capable of crying at the end of Ole Yeller (if any of you remember that movie) or during the scene in I am Legend with Will Smith and his dog (you know the scene if you have seen the movie), but I am also capable of standing toe to toe with any of you tough guys in a boxing ring, no holds barred.
Obviously, like all of us who have evolved as we have matured, I was not always as far on the path to enlightenment as I am now (I still have leagues to go too). I grew up in a public school system and a relatively low rent district; a small boy with a strange name who did well in school. It was a perfect recipe for geekhood and I will freely admit that was what I was...a comic loving geek. Every new school I went to, I was a target for bullies.
That never lasted long though...
An older brother of mine told me that most bullies were actually cowards with inferiority complexes and that one must stand up to them. Coached in wrestling and other martial techniques at an early age, including judo and later some boxing and a smattering of aikido, I steeled my nerve and followed my sibling and mentor's advice. He also taught me that it was all physics and how to use leverage. That it wasn't all about size and strength or even speed, it was about intelligence and wisdom as well.
It wasn't long before I began to gain the respect of my peers and even though I didn't always win my battles, I gained a reputation for being a geek who could use his fists (and other parts of his body as well). I ended up moving in my senior years of public school and having to go through the whole process of physically earning respect all over again, and then in High School as well.
I was proud of my martial skills and was told once by an expert in multiple martial arts that what made me a dangerous opponent was the smattering of teachings I had turned into my own style. He explained that someone who concentrated on only one style of fighting often only developed techniques for countering that particular style while, in my case, I had a variety of attacks from various styles to draw upon.
By the end of Grade 9, there wasn't many people who still tried to pick on me but I had found a new cause by then. I began standing up for the geeks and freaks that wouldn't stand up for themselves and while that was something that needed to be done, I realized it wasn't as altruistic as I painted it to be to myself and others. To my later shame, , I had developed a liking for fisticuffs and had chosen to get in altercations the way I did to justify it.
Some of this carried on into my early pub crawling years and while I still never picked a fight, I was more than willing to throw down the gauntlet to anyone who threatened others. After losing a tooth but not the fight a second time (a difference that no longer matters but did at the time), I began to realize that it was as much the adrenalin rush as the sense of righteousness driving me. I began to regret the way I had been and it wasn't until years later that I was able to look at this troubled time in a positive light as a crucible in which my later character began to be forged.
By the time, I entered into the security industry years later and once again found myself occasionally involved in physical encounters, I had matured to the point where my pugilistic skills were tempered with common sense and confidence knowing that while I would try and deter any violence first, that if it came down to it, I could still protect myself, and more importantly, others, whose welfare I was responsible for. What was most vital about the lessons I had learned though, was that, those physical skills were for a last resort only.
So, I do understand the urges within us fueled by our testosterone and instincts developed during our days millions of years ago as hunter/gatherers and then later as civilization emerged, as protectors of our clan and culture. I do understand the rush of adrenalin and how it can be like a drug. The desire and drive to excel with athletic prowess is in most of us men but it is the reasons we use it that make us true men. It is the Whole Man who can divert those urges to protect those and that which we love and not to let those violent tendencies instead hurt those and that which we love. It is the Warrior of the Heart that uses these weapons for the greater good, not the Soldier of the Mind that rationalized these tendencies and justifies conflict without compassion and it is the Warrior of the Heart that supercedes the primitive beast that dwells within all men.