The Art of War, V; Dementia Pugilistica

“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”—Sun Tzu.

“Keep your hands up! Keep your hands up!.”

I know a little boy who reminds me of myself when I was his age; he’s very sensitive and curious. And just as I was, he is being bullied at school. He knows that I can box, and that I’ve studied martial arts my entire life, and so he came to me for help.

This was a moral dilemma for me; I wanted to help; but I was also afraid of teaching him to fight; I told myself that things are different now than they were when I was his age; I didn’t want to be responsible for getting him into trouble at school, or worse.

Violence begets violence.

One day, he came to me for help once again; another boy at school had urinated on him in the bathroom; he told me that he would never forget it for the rest of his life, and begged me to teach him to fight,

So I did.

I taught him to keep his guard up; we played “paddy-cake” just like my father and I did. And we were having such a good time that I let my own guard down, just as my father did, and he got me in the eye.

Just as I did, when I broke my father’s nose, he started crying; I gave him a hug and told him he’d done well.

And so he wanted to learn more.

And so I taught him more.

I tried to be responsible; I explained to him that fighting of any kind is a last resort, and that you could talk your way out of nearly every situation, with either humour or false bravado, or what have you.

Children are extremely intuitive; they may not call you on it, but they can tell when you’re lying. And this little boy is no different.

While I was teaching him, he overheard me talking about “The Troubles” in Ireland and wanted to learn more about it all.

He’s too young to understand, and I’m too old to understand, but because I don’t believe in lying to children, I explained the situation to him the best that I could; and I lied by omission.

He called me on it, so I explained a bit more.

Everyone’s version of “the truth” is different.

The real truth is that you win a war by preventing it from happening in the first place. This is not always possible.

It is my sincere hope that the little boy I’m speaking of never gets the notion to engage in violence for Ireland or any nation, if he can avoid doing so. But I’m afraid that one day, if things don’t change, that he will.

Because he is his father’s son.

There’s your “Continuing Revolution.”

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2 Responses to The Art of War, V; Dementia Pugilistica

  1. Oh, if only more would subscribe to the idea that one wins the war by preventing it from happening!

    But getting peed on by a bully, would surely deserve some proper repercussions! That poor child!! Woe to the bully had that been my son…..


    • oglach says:

      Woe he deserved, and so he received. But it wasn’t his fault; it was the fault of his absentee father (incarcerated). I feel almost as bad for the bully as I did the boy I was trying to help. Almost.

      Liked by 3 people

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