Saturday, November 16, 2013

On Anger and Boxing

The guy standing next to me in this picture is my former boss.  I have mentioned Pastor Roger here a few times, and featured pictures of him, his wife, and his oldest kid here in past posts.  The photo is from June of 2006.  We were at a cookout that was held at the house of the head of the administrative board, who is in the photo below wearing the blue shirt.

There were all smiles back then, but not now.  I'm still a member of the church, but my relationship with these two men is extremely frosty, and that's putting it mildly.  Remember, this is a family blog.

I had to have somewhere to let my anger and vengeful feelings out regarding that situation.  Thank God for the fact that I could go to a boxing gym.  I was thinking today about a lot of young people are drawn into boxing gyms and encouraged to work out their anger on the gym equipment.  There's a story about a young Cassius Clay -- who would later change his name to Muhammad Ali -- involving a bike that was stolen from him.  I believe the young man knew who had taken his property, and plans to give out a beat down to get it back was told to an adult.  The adult steered the young man to a boxing gym as an alternative to the young man taking justice into his own hands.

It's not just pre-teen and teenage males (and a few twenty-somethings, too) who need to be put in the direction of something positive, especially these days.  Many young girls have moved up into getting into the same dicey situations that were once the sole domain of young guys.

My late younger sister, seen here in a glamour shot she had done at a photography studio about 25 years ago, observed a group of teen girls in a restaurant she was in.  While my sister waited for her order to come up, she happened to notice that one of the girls was showing off a gun.  "The girl started loading the gun with bullets.  As soon as I got my order, I got up outta there," my sister said.

Boxing is a good sport for a lot of  people if only for this reason:  it helps to curb being reactive in certain situations.  I have also noticed this in people who take martial arts.  There's a big difference in how people respond to slights and insults when they have the knowledge of "I could seriously hurt someone".  I'll yell at the top of my voice, but once I've said what I had to say, I'm taking a walk.  Perhaps I will give a cold shoulder afterwards for days, weeks, or months at a time.  Maybe I'll forgive, and maybe I won't (I'm certainly not going to forget).  But unless I'm truly being physically threatened, most situations aren't worth getting my hands dirty.  I know a lot of young people and some adults as well, who've been saved from consequences because they remembered they knew how to throw punches and considered that maybe the people they were arguing with did not.

Besides, like I mentioned in an earlier post, it's easier to hit the heavy and light bags in the gym and pretend the people whom one is upset with are the bags themselves.

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