I will protect the people and things I love fiercely: that includes myself.
I am not habitually a violent person but once – many moons ago – when someone persistently violated my personal space I did use physical force against them. It shook me terribly for several hours, days and weeks. I have never forgotten the feeling of impending danger that I experienced and wanted to avert. I am not proud that I used force, but I am satisfied that I did the right thing at the right time.
That said, nowadays I use (as is my lifelong practice) the verbal skills of negotiation and personal engagement to avert any crisis.
Just last week I had cause to confront two youths riding a scrambler, at speed, on a footpath where I was walking with three children.
I did not approach them with aggression, although I could have, I was just intent upon sharing my thoughts – in a calm way – about the impact their reckless actions had and could have on others.
There was an initial standoff which included revving up of the bike as the rider turned the machine back towards me in a show of aggression. I walked forward regardless. I was determined but not stupid, I quickly assessed the situation and keeping eye contact I proceeded.
Insults were thrown at me, I decided to parry them with soft words and gentle inquiries. It seemed to work.
Within a few minutes, the rider and his pillion passenger were calmer and nodding in understanding as I spoke with them. I explained that I knew about high-spirited actions but all I was asking was that they be considerate to the possibility of not so able people walking on the foot paths.
We parted amicably. The rider smiled from behind his balaclava and winked an acknowledgement of his understanding.
I was still calm as I went back to where my son and his friends were hiding around the corner. They were all safe that day, as was I. And I know things would have been so very different.
I am not easily deterred from doing right for those who are maligned. You see, I will always remain fiercely protective of those things close to my heart.