Turn the other cheek. A saying I’m sure most everyone has heard at one point in their life. I’m also sure there have been times when you said to yourself “yea right, you don’t know what they did or how much shit I have had to put up with.” Well, when I was in 7th grade I pretty much spent 7th grade in the principles office for fighting. It’s amazing I still passed with A’s and B’s since I was getting my ass paddled with the big paddle with holes in it (so you could hear the whistle as he swung) more than I was in class.
Anyway, after my first fight my dad told me a variation of “turn the other cheek” and it’s something I have lived by to this day. I have even told my own children. Now if you don’t agree, so be it, don’t judge, it’s not your place. History and my legacy that I leave behind to my family and how I am spoke of by my relatives and children and grandchildren after I am gone will be my judgment.
Okay, back to my story, the variation my dad told me. He sat me down after that first fight and told me “First off you should always avoid fighting whenever possible. If someone says something to you or hits you; turn the other cheek. If they continue running their mouth or hit you a second time; turn the other cheek again. If they say something or touch you in any kind of threatening or hurtful manner a third time, well you only have two cheeks to turn so now it’s time to kick their ass.” I listened and I learned. I did what he said, I was still in a lot of fights that year but after that no one ever messed with me again. Matter of fact they either didn’t talk to me at all or they wanted to be my friend.
I passed that on to my own children. Luckily out of 3 kids and 2 step kids, only one has gotten into any type of fight. As I got older I eventually joined Budashin-Tae-Kwon and enrolled my two daughters and son into it as well. They got pretty far before they moved after my divorce. I eventually became a black belt and then became an instructor. It’s been several years since then and I no longer instruct but I still remember anything so don’t think because I’m not teaching I have forgotten it. Now my step daughter is in Tae-Kwon-Do and doing extremely well too.
The thing to remember about any martial arts is that it’s not about being able to start a fight and kick someone’s ass. It’s about self discipline, self control, self defense, and ending a fight if you have ran out of cheeks to turn, as my dad told me when I was a kid.
I truly believe we should always do what we can to avoid a fight. Try to talk your way out of a fight if possible. Reason with your attacker. If they have a weapon, give them what they want, be it your wallet, purse, whatever, but if it has become apparent that no matter what you do they are not going to leave until they have attempted to do you bodily harm, well then it is time for you to defend yourself and make them regret that choice. Every person has the right to defend themselves when they feel they are being threatened and bodily harm will come to them, and with the proper training you can do just that.
Now I’m not advocating violence, remember I said to avoid a conflict whenever possible. All I’m saying is learn to defend yourself so if the time comes when you have turned both cheeks and they are still there, intent on harming you, then it’s time to kick their ass.
This goes for your fellow man/woman as well. All too often do we see people in trouble and people will turn and walk away instead of standing up to help. I guarantee you if that gang of 3 going after that 1 individual had 5 or 10 random people off the street walk up to them to defend that one, they would back down and walk away without doing anything because instead of outnumbering their victim they have now become the ones who are outnumbered.
I have been told more than once I have a superman complex. Maybe I do, maybe I don’t. I don’t think I do. Now has it caused me problems a time or two? Sure but not that often. I believe we all should be there to help. I have came to the aid of many people in my time who were ready to get beat up and were out numbered. I served in the military for 20 years. I have done and seen a lot in peacetime and war time, some I have talked about, some I have not and never will. People have their perceptions and I like to keep it like that. No reason to change it. But, as I was saying almost every time I have came to the aid of another, I was able to talk them down and avoid the fight. Maybe this goes to my post yesterday about being good with words, who knows. But the point is I was there to help and if talking didn’t work I was willing to fight to help that person, even if I didn’t know them. That is something I believe more people should do but unfortunately don’t.
So I end with my father’s words “You should always avoid fighting whenever possible. If someone says something to you or hits you; turn the other cheek. If they continue running their mouth or hit you a second time; turn the other cheek again. If they say something or touch you in any kind of threatening or hurtful manner a third time, well you only have two cheeks to turn so now it’s time to kick their ass.”