The Art of War (Choice)

Choice is sometimes difficult, I am not talking about chocolate versus coffee here (give me coffee in the morning, chocolate in the afternoon) but rather those choices that are important in our lives, choices around integrity, anger, family, relationships. In my last post I wrote of my confrontationist type background and spoke about picking your battles. Well this week I have been battling.

 

There are people often around who set out, often deliberately to wreck things, classrooms, sports games, relationships… it doesn’t matter really wreckers and haters they are. I am not talking about professional activists who would attend the opening of an envelope if they thought there might be a grievance to attend to, they move on pretty quickly and by and large the trail they leave blows away like dust in the wind, a shower of rain and you can not see where they have been.

I am talking here about the vipers, the violent, the bullies, you know them well. The problem is they are everywhere.

 

Bullies get my back up, I am sure that is no surprise at all to any of you who have read my blogs in the past. The reason that I dislike bullies s much is that I went through immense amounts of bullying in my youth and was powerless to do anything about it. Well that has changed somewhat. My response to bullying is not always the same but it is consistent. It is consistent in that I resist it to the best of my abilities. At the risk of being didactic I strongly suggest that you do as well.

I also attempt to empower those around me to resist and overcome bullies. To beat a bully you have to understand their game plan. Sun Tzu in the art of war said “if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle.”

So the old adage to know your enemy is only part of the battle, one truly needs to know oneself. Knowledge is only part of the answer however. Any strategist will tell you, you need to do risk analysis, if you know your weaknesses and do nothing about them then you will be in peril at some stage or you will retreat before the battle. As a reflective practitioner I often spend time looking at the strategies that work or do not work and pay little heed as to why they are successful or not. That is my reflection on this last week.

 

I shall write more in my next blog on choice and war. Sleep calls me after a hard week.

Paul

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