Someone called me a coward. A comment made through ignorance and hope. The expectation was the inference would cause hurt.
What is cowardice? It is not: A soldier in his 99th battle; finally broken. Refusing to enter the burning house before the flames extinguish life. Hiding from a mob and witnessing an innocent’s murder.
The majority of Westerners, encounter real danger only a few times during a lifetime (if at all?). Most fears are constructed in imagination. The politician has the electorate believe they are in constant danger from the terrorist bomb. Conspiracy theorists guide the unwary to vapour trail cyanide. Misguided attacks on nuclear power are associated with atomic weapons.
Everyone is brave, and there is a marker somewhere in the mind which overwhelms acknowledgement of danger, maybe it is adrenaline or a brain released a hyper drug. I don’t know, however, there is a certainty, once someone flips the psycho switch, a six stone woman, annihilates the twenty stone lulu.
In some situations, the inner-being warns the conscious mind to stay away. Other times the inner-self demands non-involvement. These are often worthless and pointless conflicts. And if the intuition is trusted and we turn our back, it is for the right reasons. I reflect on the woman’s words in this twenty-minute essay. The realisation is that turning one’s back and walking away is not a cowards way; it is the way of the brave. White feather wives had amputee spouse’s to welcome home. Only the brave can judge the truth; the observer guesses the criteria.
Turning away from a problematic individual is not cowardice. The woman who deemed me a coward is of no consequence. Her perception of our relationship distorted. We were years apart, with no common purpose. Instead of nurturing respect, she desired to own or control the relationship.
The episode was closed until a request for help. No reply, I turned away from the plight. Am I without compassion? No, there is an understanding of why the hell of compulsion consumes life. And again, Devil’s trident is active due to past actions and choices. With few ways out, and it is assumed, few friends left, it is easy to imagine the outcome. Little doubt, the situation a tragedy. So much time, knowledge, wisdom and waste. A lens of intelligence focussed with malicious intention controlled others for lifetimes, not mine. Understand this story as a warning. It is not written to deceive, nor justification for lack of action or choosing not to help. The essay is composed of observation.
The idea of living truth and conviction appeals to me; it instils thoughts of mind becoming matter. Thoughts manifesting as examples of power. The idea of only thinking with right, moral and honest action. A determination to explore the possibilities of scalpel truth and integrity. Imagine the options, the pleasure in saying ‘Do you know, I’m no good for you’ or ‘As a manager of people you’re zero on a scale of one hundred’. Thinking about the truth as the future encompasses sublime expectations.
I have a friend as brave as tungsten. He told me of concern for those involved in a situation. However, he is resolved to live his truth and conviction. A stranger would call him, fool, stubborn or ‘taking the point too far’. He is in a dirty war: a family feud. He will not yield. Initially, he desired to negotiate, reason, compromise, to be generous.
They saw this sensible, truthful and generous course as weakness or compromise. They believed he was attempting to deceive them. Due to nothing, he offered them a gift. He knew, the reality, all was his, and he wanted to share fairly. Lawyers fuelled the families self-deception, and he refused to enter into dialogue. A letter a month for over two years, threats and inaccurate legal rhetoric. He replied with one letter; the gist of the reply is: ‘I prefer for a judge to determine my position, and you will pay for his judgement’. Although the situation is commonplace, it is, of course, madness. My friend’s brother claims he is a coward. How so? He believes my friend is frightened to employ a lawyer. It is clear who is scared, what a fool believes, he sees.
Those who believe their perfections: beauty, intellect and their strengths: emotional and creative are without fault, discover their beliefs quickly become downfalls. Beauty turns to the walnut skin; intelligence becomes confusions; emotions run in tears and creations become outdated.
While in a flow of success, one should keep a careful eye on reality. The realities of our actions and how we care and share our lives will become the way we are perceived by all who know us. My friend will be known as vital and trustworthy and honest as time passes. Naming a human a coward is dangerous: very often the words are spoken by those in fear.
I remember a man, a bully. He believed everyone a coward. I was told he ran away from a fighter, a real trooper. And the moment the bully turned his heels, he revealed his lie. Many spoke of when he ran out, and he is still a bully, trouble for him he’s getting old and age levels all.
There is no need to explain anything to anyone. Walking away is fair. Face the foe and spit in their eye. Sometime in the future, you’ll meet with a friend named vindication. It is a sweet word for those of us who have patience and understand that truth and restraint are bound with time.
20 minute writing exercise: Free-flowing thoughts without editing: