Re: The Real World: How to Reconcile?
I have not personally been attacked in any way, but started aikido way back when after a friend got raped. Had visions of applying startling and bonebreaking techniques on an attacker who had no idea who he was messing with. Taught him a lesson, Ha!
Anyway, in and out of aikido, learned that that's not what it's about. Think now that the knowledge that I could very possibly defend myself gives me a confidence which would deter would-be attackers. Found myself in an elevator with a shady character the other day. Had a can of soda in my hand - thought to myself "swap that in his face and he'll think twice". Not aikido, necessarily, but situational awareness. Aikido training makes me feel strong and able - whether that's real or imagined doesn't really matter; the trick is that I believe it. Generally find that acknowledging people's existence with a direct look, a nod, or even a smile turn frowns into more pleasant expressions. Work in civic center area, lots of funky characters around. But they exist, must acknowledge that fact even if it hurts my sense of what human dignity is. The squalor and degradation in this advanced society is as hard to reconcile with my life as the bad people.
Not that I see attacks and threats everywhere, couldn't live my life that way. I fly, though I am not fond of it, irrational as that fear may be. The fear that makes some people see Spongebob Squarepants as a corrupting moral influence would be so stiffling that I'd be forced to sit behind my closed door at home. Can't do that. Too many exciting and beautiful and fun and invigorating things to do, bad people be damned. Use your awareness to aovid obvious situations. You got out of your encounter safely. Your friend got robbed, but not hurt (except emotionally, of course). Stuff is just stuff, life is irreplaceable.