Wednesday, September 25, 2019
I was chatting with my martial arts teacher after class last week about how we learn in martial arts to deflect force rather than trying to overpower force with force. As with many lessons in martial arts, this one teaches us how to handle conflict in the rest of our lives as well. I related to him this story which he thought was a great example, so I will share it with you too.
A few years ago, I was walking along a neighborhood street after dark. Up ahead there was a group of young men. As I passed them, one of them said something vulgar and sexual to me. I walked on past without reacting, but they started to follow close behind me. They were looking for trouble. There was no one else on the street.
So I did what any self-respecting martial artist would do. I turned to face them. And I said,
“When an old lady like me gets a compliment from a handsome young fella like yourself, it’s a good day!” And I gave them a big smile.
Well, they weren’t expecting that. They all stopped in their tracks and looked confused. Then, after a pause, the one who had spoken to me softened his stance and simply said,
“God bless you.”
“God bless you too,” I replied.
All the tension evaporated. We all nodded at each other, turned, and went on our way.