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The only thing that matters is how tough you are

The only thing that matters is how tough you are. Little boys get that message when they’re little, and it is carried on. That message is carried on from the slums to college campuses throughout the world, from Russia to Chile. The more blindly and fanatically it is carried out depends on how blingly and fanatically that message is reinforced in the countries where they live. I sometimes wonder about it.

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i’d say anyone who’s endured SZ and still going somewhat strong is real tough

tougher than the macho tough kids you see in entertainment

that said, growing up I was always a tough kid…fighting, fake guns, wrestling, tackle football…i held my own in it all

i think people think of me as tough, but I’m the peaceful warrior

  1. The peaceful warrior

There is no greater illusion than fear,
no greater wrong than to prepare to defend yourself,
no greater misfortune than having an enemy.

Whoever can see through all fear
will always be safe.

The sage is a man of peace. Yet, he carries within him the formidable qualities of a warrior.

He abhors weapons. He detests warfare. The great warrior, according to him, is the one who has avoided conflict and has never had to use violence. As a warrior, he has learnt the art of subduing his adversary without humiliation.

He has the courage of someone who has conquered himself. He does not cling to life, nor is he driven by his own passions. He is unintimidated by death. He is able to face impossible odds and the worst adversaries with grace and courage.

He is no pacifist. When left with no other option, he will fight skilfully and dispassionately, but he will not rejoice in victory, for he sees victory parades as the gory exultation of ignorant butchers. Nor does he fear defeat: it does not carry the sting of humiliation to someone who has very little ego to hurt.

Other things matter as you get older.

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My dad taught me to be a real a$$hole at times, something I can’t fully escape even to this day. I got cold-cocked by another peer when I was in 5th grade. I came home with a bloody lip, and I didn’t fight back. My dad kicked the $hit out of me for that, and instructed me to go back the next day and knock that kid silly. During P.E. we were playing dodgeball, and I nailed him in the head. He confronted me, and I punched him as hard as I could in the left eye. He went down like a sack of potatoes, and I got detention. When my dad found out that night, he took me out for dinner and a movie. My dad was an interesting character.

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My Dad was an interesting character, too. I miss him, but not really. I love him though, really.

Jayster

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awesome. as, szs, we are not wimps. we are ■■■■■■■ tough ass ■■■■■■■■■■■■■.it is akin to going to war; we survive, we are kind but deep down brews a beast. my transgressions have all been centered around this toughness and standing for what I believe in.

@jayster: sometimes I can only see my dad’s faults. there is plenty of good in him that I can’t or refuse to see. I feel the same way when he is not around.

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I too have very conflicting feelings about my dad. He was complicated. He meant well, he just had a very arbitrary way of showing it, and a twisted sense of what’s right and wrong. He wasn’t criminal in his actions (unless you count that time he threw a brick through the church’s stained glass), but I’ve had to discard a lot of the things he taught me.

When I think about guys like Roberto Duran and Jake La Matta I see an almost hysterical need to be the baddest guy in the neighborhood. There are still emotional remnants of that kind of thing in me now. Freud talked about the massive identification with a male role model to resolve the oedipal complex. I can remember that identification with my older brother now.

That’s funny you mention Jake LaMotta. He was one of my dad’s favorite athletes. The fact that he is Italian only helped my nationalistic Italian father. He used to watch Raging Bull all the time. My dad was very proud of who he was, and he instilled that in me. I’ve gotten to the point where my Italian is better than my father’s ever was. He’d be proud. I miss my dad.

Of course there was always Rocky Marciano, knocking out Jersey Joe Walcot late in the match. I sometimes wonder if a lot of amateur wrestlers had gone into boxing if they could have won out. I wonder if Dan Gable had gone into boxing if he could have been a world champion. Most white guys in the suburbs never see a boxing gym until they’re 23. Boxing causes brain damage anyway. If I had a son I wouldn’t let him box.