Today’s Pearl will be a strangely constructed one again…. It is Sunday, and today I get to go visit for a short time with my grandson, while he visits with his dad. It is a sad situation, all in all, due primarily to the mother, who is, quite simply, a viciously vindictive, incredibly self-centered young woman. I try to view not being able to see him much as being the same as if I lived a long way away, such as back East. Then, I’d see him only by photograph or video…. so, getting an hour with him every month or two is better than that. Later, when he is older, and more independent of his mother, he will wish to know this part of his family, and we will get to know each other better then….
But, this means getting this done has to happen in between, or rather, outside, the visit hours, which are 11-12 this morning. I started a bit of it last night, but have yet to search for any other material for this morning. Should be interesting, to try to cobble together something that appears seamless, when the creation process will be anything but….. SIGH…. This means I have to be focused, and efficient…. boy, I HATE that! I’m retired, and I shouldn’t have to do that unless I want to…. Oh…. right, I do want to do this….. Okay, in that case, Shall we Pearl?…..
Violence always settles everything. — Smart Bee
Violence never settles anything. — What most, if not all, of us were told as children….
I was cruising through Smart Bee, looking for oysters from which to extract pearls, when the first line above came up. I almost went past it, as the very short, unattributed quotes are often mundane or useless in some fashion or another. Then, I stopped, went back, and re-read it. After a moment’s thought, I decided that it was somewhat of an unwanted, but absolutely correct truism, if reality is viewed with certain restrictions of an ethical bent. History is rife with examples of how violence has been very effective in settling any number of issues; ours has been a history of constant warfare, someplace in the world, from the level of nations, to the personal. All of these events to which I refer tend to be motivated by an insanity that is part of human nature, i.e. greed. Violence is the favorite tool of the avaricious, because it works, as long as one is the best at being violent.
The second idea is one that is promulgated by those among us who would manipulate us without violence; greed for power over others is the motivating factor here. Preachers and priests are fond of trying to pass this one off on people, using the famous quote by Jesus, re: turning the other cheek, as their justification for counseling people to use any other method than violence to achieve their ends.
From a purely ethical viewpoint, this is correct thinking; but, it does not allow for any other options, just in case one’s estimation of the risk of violence is wrong, and that is just plain stupid. Yes, violence is the last refuge of the incompetent (thanks to Isaac Asimov’s Salvor Hardin for that insight…. from “Foundation”), but even the most competent person must accept reality, and when reality is a fist flying at your face, well, my choice is to duck, and strike back hard and fast, not to turn my cheek…. unless it is a spinning move to bring my own fist around from another direction…. No, what the religious pundits would have their believers do is called appeasement; they counsel obedience to worldly governors, and have right from their beginnings, as they knew the only way to gain the trust of the ruling class was to help them to protect their hold on the public, and the keys to the treasury….
I admire Mahatma Ghandi, but I cannot agree with his policy of non-violence, for the simple reason that it is not consistent, and fails the test of reality. He makes the assertion that answering violence with violence can only breed further outbreaks of the same, and there is some truth in that assertion…. However, it is only true if the oppressor is stronger, and better at the violent skills that are employed. At the same time, I have a philosophical problem with the concept of resistance with passivity, as I have always thought it to be just another form of aggression, called, naturally enough, passive aggression. I believe non-violence to be dishonest in its inability to face up to its own brand of aggressive response to an aggressive stimulus. You see, even saints can come to believe their own hype after a while…. While Ghandi’s methods are an effective method for a population unaccustomed to and unskilled at violence to resist a strong oppressor, for a person, or group of people, who are familiar with the skills involved, the matter becomes rather a question of who has the superior skills, tactics, and strategies.
I’ve had a lot of experience in my life with violence, in most of its forms. I was raised on Army bases, while my father was a member of the service, only moving away when he retired after 20 years in 1961….. so, violence was not a new subject to me, even at the age of 10. All of us, growing up, are exposed to some violence; kids aren’t pacifists by nature, and physical arguments are not uncommon among children. School, parents, sports, organized activities, all help to monitor and teach control of the violence within us, in their own ways, but experiencing violence is the most valuable teacher, as is always true for us humans. For myself, I learned early on that the most formidable weapon we all possess is located between our ears, and learning to use it, both as a tool, and as a weapon, is the most valuable lesson we can learn….
In college, I started on the true path of the warrior, when I started studying martial arts, which included reading the history and philosophy of the different styles and forms. This reading took me to areas of thought I had never entered, and I learned a LOT about myself, and, as a natural result, also learned a lot about other people….. All of what I learned is good material to use in AVOIDING violence, which, after enough experience, is always the ultimate goal of any warrior….. Dealing with violence is dangerous, and carries a risk of injury, and death. This risk is mitigated by our skill, our knowledge, and most importantly, by our attitude and alertness. The longer an incident of violence goes on, the higher the risk, so once begun, the goal is to end it as quickly as possible. The ultimate defense is to turn potential enemies into allies, before actual violence occurs, a goal which requires patience, intelligence, compassionate insight, and a willingness to compromise, to be flexible….
After studying martial arts, I later became involved in mental healthcare, in which field the actual physical use of my arts became habitual, and helpful to an extreme. Knowing how to deal with any kind of violent behavior exhibited tends to reduce the fear one feels in facing such events, which allows one to deal with the violence efficiently. I became expert at controlling people who were out of control, without injuring them, and without being injured. This expertise has cost me a lot, as I now suffer the long term effects of exposure to violence, i.e., PTSD, stemming from the death of a co-worker during an incident at Napa State Hospital, in 1984….. but, I can look back on my career, and know that nobody ever got hurt during my take-downs, and the only one affected in the long run was myself…..
I hate drama, and emotional turmoil, and, in the final analysis, violence. My life has, by my own unfortunate choices, contained far too much of all three. I learned to deal with violence and its effects because of that dislike, and that can be viewed as a form of cowardice, if you like. But, that knowledge has kept me relatively safe, and gave me the ability to deal with those kinds of events with dispatch, thus minimizing the overall negativity of the results. When I speak of violence, and its effects, I KNOW what I am saying…. and I say that trying to totally eliminate it from life is foolish. It is too much a part of human nature. In my world, it is best to deal with it quickly, and get it over with…. in the long run, this shows the most favorable results, for everyone involved….
This little pearl/rant/discussion could go on forever, and seems to have already made a goodly effort to get there. Life calls, however, and there are more pearls to find, including a poem, which may be inside me somewhere, thus requiring the opening of a vein or two. So, we’ll leave this here, with no further forays into the realm of violence for the time being. When one has the opportunity, one should always find something else to do, rather than focus on that side of human nature; it will manifest all on its own, all too often in the course of Life, and does not need our assistance to do so…. Stay alert, and stay safe out there ffolkes, and may the violence in Life continually pass you by…..
“Even in war, moral power is to physical as three parts out of four.” — Napoleon Bonaparte
Well, I didn’t find it inside me, but, all things considered, this will do quite nicely…. enjoy!….
I WALK’D along a stream, for pureness rare,
Brighter than sun-shine; for it did acquaint
The dullest sight with all the glorious prey
That in the pebble-paved channel lay.
No molten crystal, but a richer mine,
Even Nature’s rarest alchymy ran there,–
Diamonds resolv’d, and substance more divine,
Through whose bright-gliding current might appear
A thousand naked nymphs, whose ivory shine,
Enamelling the banks, made them more dear
Than ever was that glorious palace’ gate
Where the day-shining Sun in triumph sate.
Upon this brim the eglantine and rose,
The tamarisk, olive, and the almond tree,
As kind companions, in one union grows,
Folding their twining arms, as oft we see
Turtle-taught lovers either other close,
Lending to dulness feeling sympathy;
And as a costly valance o’er a bed,
So did their garland-tops the brook o’erspread.
Their leaves, that differ’d both in shape and show,
Though all were green, yet difference such in green,
Like to the checker’d bent of Iris’ bow,
Prided the running main, as it had been–
Since I’m short on time today for the proper degree of cogitation, due to the above mentioned visit, (as well as the somewhat massive outpouring of stuff in section one…), this will be an old school pearl, and a fairly obvious one. All of these reflect my own beliefs, and are important pieces of the philosophy I try to live by…. Anyone could do worse to do the same…..
“As to values, I was taught — and still believe — that a sense of honor is necessary to personal self-respect; that duty, recognizing an individual’s subordination to community welfare, is as important as rights; that loyalty, which is based on the trustworthiness of honorable men, is still a virtue; and that work and self-discipline are as essential to individual happiness as they are to a viable society. Indeed, I still believe in patriotism — not if it is limited to parades and flag-waving, but because worthy national goals and aspirations can be realized only through love of country and a desire to be a responsible citizen.” — Lewis F. Powell (Former Supreme Court Justice)
“If you are patient in a moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow.” — Chinese Proverb
“The best rule of friendship is to keep your heart a little softer than your head.” — George Santayana
I’m not crazy. I just have a unique sense of reality. — Smart Bee
(That’s me all over!!!…)
the path is
chosen, to live forever is to die
To not know when you’ll
is to find
wherever you are.
“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.” — Plato
“It is our responsibility to live with as much gusto as we can and to cause as little grief as possible.”– Smart Bee
Well…. Smart Bee is being particularly fruitful today…. quote after quote that fits this category keep popping up, and if I’m not careful, this could run as long as the first pearl, which, as you know, got away from me a bit…. So, one last good one, and we’ll be off to visit with Zack….
The sage manages affairs without action
And spreads doctrines without words.
All things arise, and he does not turn away from them.
He produces them, but does not take possession of them.
He acts, but does not rely on his own ability.
He accomplishes his task, but does not claim credit for it.
It is precisely because he does not claim credit
that his accomplishment remains with him.
Done…. and well within the time frame…. there’s something to be said for the organizational and time-management skills that come with aging…. stuff that would have been a spectacular fail in my youth is now a piece of cake, and not just some simple sponge cake, either! All this needs now is a poem, and it’s good to go. Of course, having that extra hour this morning helped immensely, once I realized I had it….. You DID remember to turn back your clocks, right? I didn’t, naturally, so I discovered the extra hour available to me when I glanced up at the computer and saw that it was different than my clock…. that reminded me, and I changed the rest of them, and celebrated the time by, well, you don’t want to know…. Onward….
I’m going to go against normal policy and not worry overmuch about the grammar and spelling…. the spell checker seems to have handled everything I wrote so far without going bonkers, so it should be fine. The subject matter may be a bit stiff for some, but, hey, gotta go with what bleeds out…. In spite of how it may seem, I’m a pretty easy-going guy, and only aim to entertain, never to offend (unless deserved…. and They know who They are…. none of Them would be considered as ffolkes….ever….). Ah me…. enough for one day….. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..
Sometimes I sits and thinks,
I just sits.