Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Young men need to calm down

Kicking the bus in the balls
He was shouting and probably remonstrating about something when he got off the bus and without catching his breath, still in a tirade, he proceeded to kick the bus. The bus winched and groaned at being kicked straight in the balls.
Not exactly. Whatever might have started the altercation, he was really ejected from the bus, in his anger and petulance, he began kicking the bus to make a point. Meanwhile, the bus rolled away from the bus stop and he was left there to kick a bin and then the bus stand.
It is not the end of the world
Young men need to learn to calm down. Take control of their emotion and exercise a bit of self-control. Whilst, a lot can so easily escalate, that same situation can be tempered down to irrelevance. It all depends on how a person decides to react.
He missed a bus journey he probably could have enjoyed and had to wait probably another 15 minutes before another bus came by. It is quite likely, he would have simmered down by then, rather than have fire, smoke and steam coming out of his mouth, nostrils and ears in that order.
As I pondered on this matter walking back to my hotel, at another bus stop, someone asked me a question in French that I did not understand. Before I could explain myself, he began swearing and cursing at me, he also kicking the bus stand. I was exasperated, saying nothing, I kept walking along, now wondering about the many angry young men who lose out just because they cannot calm down a bit.
Maintain composure and perspective
This brings me to an event in the news a few weeks ago. This about two young men who by my reckoning could easily pass for my son, if I had by happenstance had issue. They were fledgeling models building a profile in their professions when the one said to the other than he had slept with the other’s girlfriend. [BBCNews]
By the time you knew what was happening, they had met up for a fight, one side armed with dumbbells and the other armed with three knives including a machete, over an unsubstantiated claim of one having slept with another’s girlfriend. The young man who took umbrage at having his girlfriend in the arms of a rival got stabbed and he died.
What needless, senseless and careless loss of life over what by terms should be a trivial matter. Egos and personalities without capacity or inclination to contemplate consequence. A gross lack of apprehension for the future, by living only in the present and now. Respect has become a precious commodity, linked with a feigned sense of honour and dignity that everything is sacrificed to maintain that status after which all is lost.
What if they decided to reflect for once and step back from careering down the road to perdition? A silent voice that spoke into the consciousness of one that suggesting, backing down does not mean a loss of face, defeat or person.
Calling me chicken doesn’t make me one
I know the number of times I have been called a chicken, in the desire of that person to get me to do what I have decided not to do. A chance encounter could define an entire future, but that encounter alone when veering towards the negative is probably the best sign to disengage.
Walking into a park one sunny afternoon and seeing a friend, I went to offer greetings and pleasantries as one of his acquaintances urged me to sit on the grass. I had no intention of sitting on the grass, so I stated, I would rather sit on a bench. At which point he called me a pretentious git and asked if I thought I was better than those sitting on the grass.
I responded, everyone has made their choice to sit where they want to, I have decided, I prefer to sit on the bench and I don’t care for whether he accepts my decision or not. We parted company, not in the friendliest of terms, but I knew that only that circumstance would have put us in the same space. There was every likelihood, there would be no other encounter between us.
Take a time out and take it easy
I take a laidback approach to things, I hate to be in a rush, I make time for activities I have planned, I would step out of the way of those to whom time has become the most expensive commodity. I can take offence yet refuse to be offended or slighted. This all comes with a keen sense of self and the ability to brush it off.
The quest for respect is not a goal, it grows out of conduct, comportment, demeanour and stature. There are cases where respect needs to be demanded, it is never with brawn. We have reached a level of civilisation where conversation, ideas, knowledge and wisdom should suffice in settling issues. We can agree to disagree without becoming disagreeable as we aspire to a greater level of gentlemanliness.
I do hope that young men begin to realise there is more to life beyond that momentary hot-headed where the absolutely regrettable becomes an ever-present possibility. There is more respect, honour, dignity and integrity to be had in the future if you can walk away from a volatile situation now.


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