I try to keep things light where I can, and look towards the funny side amongst all the dark shadows that surround us every day, but today I was reminded of how easy (and often unexpected) those dark shadows can rear their ugly heads..
An old colleague of mine (and a good, kind man) was killed this weekend because some 21 year old drunk, idiot punched him in the head as he tried to calm down a heated situation. Sure, many might imagine an alcohol fueled brawl where someone jumped in where they were not supposed to, but this particular colleague taught Government employees the ‘Non Violent Crisis Intervention’ program as part of his profession… He was skilled and experienced in defusing volatile situations and working with high risk clients. Yet still… this happened.
I’m sure the 21 year old who threw the punch started the night with a few drinks, out on the town, having a party; but certainly not with the intend to kill another man… but because of one heated moment, one stupid decision… his life is now also ruined.
It happens too often, where a fight might break out, and people get hurt far beyond a black eye or a scabby knee. Heck, my own brother got hit in the face a few months ago because he stood up to someone who was verbally abusing a girl on the street and my father once was forced to intervene and detain a violent man as he attacked a female train conductor. One can go into a situation with the best intend to help out, but how many times do we hear or witness situations where it just doesn’t work out that way…
Again, I’m certainly no expert on the subject, but I’ve had my fair share of dealing with aggressive people in my line of work… this post is based on my personal thoughts on the topic. The idea of the below points is more relevant to unnecessary violence in social settings as I truly believe that we, as individuals, can raise our own awareness and find ways to minimize horrible accidents like this from happening…
1) We no longer live in an Age where honor needs to be defended by violence. Walking away from an aggressor, who is provoking you to fight, does not make you any less of a coward than standing in a garage makes you a car. Walk away!
2) Alongside that ‘honor’ also comes the ‘defending a lady’ argument. I’ve witnessed many aggressors starting an argument with a female, with the intention for her boyfriend or another person to intervene … hence… “We’ve got ourselves a fight boys”. Again, you can love your girl by walking away (and keeping her safe as well)… or you can love her bloody, with a missing tooth, from the gutter… I think she’d prefer the former ..
3) There are most certainly situations where you feel stepping in is the right thing to do as another person needs help, but make sure you assess the situation…will your intervention cause more harm and put not only the person in need of help, but you and others in more danger? Can you call for the Police or other assistance? Are there alternatives to violence to resolving the situation?
4) There is nothing wrong with having a great night out, and drinking a beer does not cause anyone to randomly start throwing punches… but when you see a friend who has had one too many in a situation that could possibly lead to an altercation… put them in a taxi home or invite them for a game of pool.. deferring them from the situation. (I used to suggest we go for pizza….. drunk people love pizza!)
Instead of a funny spin on an otherwise negative situation, I hope this post today didn’t put you in a downer, but rather raised just that little bit of awareness…
Unnecessary pub violence has ruined too many lives already… and if this read would make even only one or two people think twice when confronted with an aggressive situation.. It’d be something..
-Rest In Peace, Bruce… you were always a helper and taught us to aid others in a safe way.. and still your own life was taken so senselessly…you will be terribly missed!!-