Fight or Flight?

Image Credit: cottonbro studio

Recently, I’ve been watching movies made about and based on the life of real people who advocated for change that helped to make things better for those who lacked the means in many areas. These individuals saw the problem and wanted to do something to help fix a broken system. While others felt it wasn’t worth the fight to change the “ginormous” Goliath that stood in their way, they fled while a few brave martyrs decided to take a licking for the cause, while they kept on ticking.

When these stories of fighting for the marginalized or the targeted unfolded, the ugly head of obstruction and corruption was standing there to beat such advocacy back down. Of course, this is the underlying cause of why so much goes undone, preventing what can be changed, left unchanged. People feel discouraged and defeated because their efforts look deflated. As much as the advocates, those fighting for good and positive change feel bruised, beaten down, and criticized, they find some measure of strength to keep fighting anyway.

Those who feel as if they are on the bottom rung of the ladder are only seeking equity, opportunity, and a chance to get out of their condition of dire straits, not a handout or money grab. People tell them to pick themselves up by their bootstraps but what if they have no boots? Then what?

Those movies about actual people, these advocates on the front lines of fighting for justice for people who are too weak or broken to fight themselves, seem to always face some form of intimidation by someone wielding power. When you would think they might say it wasn’t worth it and wash their hands from the situation, they muster the strength to rise up, brush themselves off and make more noise than the intimidators. They continue to fight anyway. These individuals weren’t rich influential people who can write a check in a blink of an eye, and move on. No, there is something about these ralliers who remember the reason why they started fighting in the first place, and they refuse to tuck their tails in between their legs and take flight when the going looks dismal.

The majority of the people I know, many of whom are reading this message right now, are compassionate, sensitive, kind, good, loving, and tenderhearted. You have a genteel spirit, and for those who are too weak and wary of fighting, but try to stand up to the Goliaths only to be smacked down, it pisses you off and makes you spit-fire angry. Many of you know the story of David and Goliath. When we (Davids) realize the power of numbers in standing for what is just, then to hell with the flight. Each of us has the power to lift our voices through numerous channels and in a peaceful, yet powerful way. Find your place where you can serve your purpose to continue building a society that unites and fights, not incites.

I saw a movie years ago that was circa the Gladiator era. While I don’t remember the name of the movie, I remember one of the most poignant messages from it. A bullish, arrogant fighter wanted to fight the greatest gladiator, but this great gladiator refused, even though he knew he could beat him. A little boy who the great gladiator was mentoring, asked why the fighter who was already bloodied and beaten by the arrogant fighter kept getting back up, only to be punched back down to the ground, half-dead, again and again. (Paraphrasing) “Why doesn’t he just stay on the ground? He lost,” the little boy asked. The great gladiator looked at his mentee and said, “Honestly, the bloodied one on the ground who keeps getting back up is the one who actually won the fight.”

Don’t Think About Starting a Fight!

Image Credit: Papafox 

I’m not even trying to go there, so don’t think about starting a fight because you won’t win…that’s of course, unless you are fighting yourself. Then have at it.

I know many of you have faced and probably will face predicaments where it feels like you’ve been thrown into a fighting ring, and you don’t know who, why, or what you are wrestling, boxing, or kickboxing with. Look yall, people try to lure you into a fight that you weren’t looking to participate in because you didn’t sign up to fight. You were simply minding your own business right?

I realize that somehow, even as you try to steer clear of unnecessary confrontations, someone targets you for their bullish reasons and narcissistic attitudes just to throw you off of your game. Such individuals want to pick a fight with you for some of the silliest reasons, no matter how peaceful of a creature you may be. Do I speak from experience? Yep, you betcha ya! That’s from decades of learning experiences I don’t discount, and from people, I would never have expected such behavior to come from. Yet, these are lessons that prepare me to be on the lookout for the tumultuous signs that pop up from time to time. I wonder why, but I don’t worry why. Neither should you.

Long story short…I’m not trying to pick a fight with anyone. So heed the warning…”Don’t start nothin’ it won’t be nothin’.”

Poisonous Tongues Pierce the Heart of Peace


George Hodan

In the midst of our ever-evolving, transformational world, when did we drop the ball of compassion and understanding from the equation of humanity? At what point did a decent conversation become obsolete and the brash spews of bitter words become the norm?

How did we sidestep the path of human decency in the quest to stereotype and attack someone’s dignity without legitimate cause because of their cultural differences? At what point did we watch hatred, injustice and poisonous tongues infiltrate the heart of the human race to become the standard of exploitation?

When did we normalize atrocities that unjustly assassinate someone’s character or debilitate a cultural tribe? How can we redirect or detonate the trajectory of toxic words and patterns of behavior that have become as deadly as bullets shot from the chamber of an assault weapon? Is there a way to find common ground when we sit at the table to have a reasonable and decent conversation, where we all walk away with dignity intact, peace of mind, and understanding with compassion?

Religion – Politics – Anarchy

fighting, anarchy, arguments

Social media had been a channel where many platforms are readily available to share, interact and voice your opinions on. We have the freedom to share things about our lives, our likes, dislikes and tolerances. It simply amazes me how many broken friendships, relationships and families are damaged by blowing up over certain topics. Growing up there were two main subjects we were always told to avoid discussing unless you were gamed for a heated argument: religion and politics. I noticed over the past eight years that social media has opened the door for some engaging conversations that have turned brutal.

Since the increase in popularity of social media over the past 10 years, everyone has an opportunity to get on their soap box and discuss things on their minds. Oftentimes, their opinions become serious offenses that get practically everyone fired up and end up igniting verbal fights in the comment sections on blogs, articles, op-ed pieces and social media sites. Some people are un-friending long-time friends, acquaintances and even family members who they get into a fiery sparring match with. I realize how passionate people are about things or views they like or disagree with, but come on now, just because we have the freedom of speech that does not give us the license to be downright mean.

I am connected to many people of different ethnicities, denominations, political affiliations and economic levels on social media. While many of their comments or viewpoints were/are different from mine, I try not to be brutally offensive if I want to share a thought or opinion different from theirs. There is an intelligent way of getting your point across in my opinion. What’s even more disconcerting is the type of language that comes from the mouths of many people who claim to be God-fearing “Christians.” Some of the stuff I read that they have written simply blows my mind, and makes me wonder what Bible they are studying and what doctrine they are following!

My mother used to say, listen and think before you speak. You have “two” ears and “one” mouth for a reason. Once words come out of your mouth, you can make a public insult, but sometimes it’s very difficult for that person to accept a private apology. If you intentionally say something that will hit below the belt and hurt someone, you could do some serious damage, not just to them, but to yourself. While people think that trying to be prudent when responding or speaking to others may come off as wimpy, saying whatever comes to your mind and intentionally insulting others simply because you can, does not give you the license to say whatever you want and not expect to suffer the consequences as a result of it. If you dish it out, you have to be willing to take it.

Yes, we can discuss religion, we can discuss politics and we can discuss other sensitive issues. But if you want to indulge in a healthy conversation, even if our views vary, then we can have an intelligent conversation without getting downright nasty. Yet, if you want to simply pick a fight, then we have nothing to discuss. In light of this being an election year, there is a tremendous amount of mud-slinging going on. But remember, people have feelings and families. Let’s talk about the issues, but let’s do it responsibly, intelligently and civilly. That’s my soapbox moment for today! And as Forrest Gump says, “That’s all I have to say about that!”