I first joined the martial path as an 11 year old. I was tormented at school by a pack of bullies. Bullies by their very nature have power and use it to oppress and attack the weak and defenseless. I was an innocent child with no fighting spirit. I simply had no anger, I had no desire to hurt another. All I felt was fear. I was a punching bag for the other kids. Children outside the gaze of authority can be every bit as cruel as adults, maybe worse.
The past year has seen an interesting rise in aggressors in my life, from people who have never met me. I have weathered a storm storm of insults. But I am not the innocent child who will live in fear. My thoughts will not be hidden away. I have a voice and I have opinion. Despite how I am treated I will always treat everyone with courtesy and respect.
Following is an clip verse 27 from the Tao that has greatly influenced the way I interact with my fellow man.
Thus the Master is available to all people
and doesn't reject anyone.
He is ready to use all situations
and doesn't waste anything.
This is called embodying the light.
What is a good man but a bad man's teacher?
What is a bad man but a good man's job?
If you don't understand this, you will get lost,
however intelligent you are.
It is the great secret.
So despite being treated poorly, why would I not attack back? Like the 11 year old self I have no desire to harm another. Further I have no desire to waste my energy on people who treat me poorly. After a lifetime of experience I am not that defenseless 11 year old any longer. I have no need to feel fear. I will not be bullied again.
Jackie reminded us in his movie, kung fu lives in how we treat people. I choose to have good kung fu. I choose to treat people well. I choose to have positive kung fu where the world is full of friends, not enemies. I choose not to engage in battles where there is no positive outcome. My kung fu is to help protect the defenseless and never to attack and insult another. I choose to have a kung fu of creation and protection, not destruction.