Why So Confrontational?

The world is a violent and dangerous place. This isn’t really news; one need only to Google any aspect of world history to recognize that it’s ALWAYS been a dangerous and violent place. But there was a time when a specific violence was contained to its immediate area. If you lived in a small town, you’d likely hear about the assault that took place during the previous evening, but the world would continue to turn. Likely thinking that your small town is a quiet and peaceful place.

These days, even the most remote of places have the world’s information at their fingertips and can access it with but a swipe of their finger across their smart phone, tablets or home computers. People have become much more aware of the way the world operates, albeit most seem to think it’s become an increase since years past. It really hasn’t; we simply hear more about it now. One thing that HAS increased, and I only know this because of personal experience, is confrontation. People seem o have developed a comfort and penchant for confronting one another, either online or in person. And the results can often bring more suffering than it’s worth.

A good example I can provide is a confrontation I had with an unknown gentleman (and I use the term lightly) about a year ago. I believe I wrote a post on this, but it’s been so long, who remembers? Anyway, I pulled out into an inner lane of travel after fuelling up my vehicle. This guy was in the outer lane and decided to switch lanes right in the location where I pulled out. The result was that he honked his horn loudly and proceeded to follow me to the nearest red light where he pulled up next to me and proceeded to call me a plethora of disrespectful names and try to “educate” me on traffic laws. I didn’t bother to tell him, but had he known what I do for a living, he may have understood the redundancy in that tactic.

Long story short, whether in the right or wrong, I apologized and told the guy not to let the incident ruin his day. he seemed unconvinced and unsatisfied. His problem. But it got me to thinking for quite some time afterwards… What would these people do if they confronted someone violent? A wanted criminal or a gang member who’d be just as likely pull out a pistol and shoot the guy in the face as look at him? Because of the nature of the world, you simply never know who it is you may be dealing with when you confront them.

If for no other reason than the fact that you’re prolonging your own suffering and creating some for another person, this is something to be mindful of when confronting unknown persons. And why would you confront them? Let’s look back at my traffic scenario. Did the guy gain anything from confronting me the way he did? Of course not! Has it altered my perceptions or changed the way I drive? I can guarantee you that it did not. I’m still just as careful and mindful of my driving as I was beforehand.

But had I been someone violent or dangerous, that guy might have been caught dealing with quite a different scenario. I’ve seen and experienced it often enough to know it can happen. And this is what needs to be seriously contemplated when one is considering confronting someone. At the end of the day, if something that happened brought you no harm, hasn’t altered your life and you can carry on with the status quo, may consider letting it go rather than confronting another person over it. You may discover that your life will be more peaceful and your stress levels will be less. Food for thought. ☯

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Shawn

I am a practitioner of the martial arts and student of the Buddhist faith. I have been a Type 1 Diabetic since I was 4 years old and have been fighting the uphill battle it includes ever since. I enjoy fitness and health and looking for new ways to improve both, as well as examining the many questions of life. Although I have no formal medical training, I have amassed a wealth of knowledge regarding health, Diabetes, martial arts as well as Buddhism and philosophy. My goal is to share this information with the world, and perhaps provide some sarcastic humour along the way. Welcome!

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