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Walk away

This is your best case scenario.

This is your best case scenario.

Hey fella, I know you don't wanna hear this from some bloke who's old enough to be your (very well-preserved) father but if you'll just give me a minute ...

I know the grub called your girlfriend a bad name or questioned which orifice and gender you enjoy sex with but, you know what? He wants a reaction, just like you did when you rained crap down on your sister or cousin or that wendell who lived up the road.

So think about it: why would you give someone you dislike what they want? It makes no sense.

But, hey, I get it; plenty of people make no sense right now - especially your parents, teachers, bus drivers, cops and girlfriends. So let's not talk sense, let's not talk rationality, let's just discuss reality.

You're loving life at the moment; anything seems possible and we all know how much it sucks when a party gets shut down, someone pulls the plug on the fun and you have to go home.

Imagine that forever.

Guys just like you are having the plug pulled on them every weekend - they're getting stabbed, king hit, OD-ing, mashing themselves in car accidents and also deciding to take their own lives.

This is not a public service announcement - you know what's wrong and right - you know you shouldn't do 160km/h on your Ps in the wet, nor should you shoot up meth or climb drunk to balconies four storeys high in your undies.

But do you also know how savage the consequences can be for following that grub, accepting that invitation to fight?

Spin it out for a second and you'll see there are two very bad scenarios - you end up in hospital, or you end up in jail because he's in hospital.

So what? He threw a bottle at your car? He attacked you? You can't back down? You'll look weak?

I'll tell you what weakness looks like: it's when you go to the funeral of your friend, your beautiful, young, legend of a mate, and you realise he's never gonna get up out of that box.

I've done that - several times now - and, let me tell you, that's what weakness feels like because, no matter what you say or do, you can't change it, ever.

All of us, all my mates felt it; how incredibly sad it was for our friend, his mum, for us.

But you know what?

It gets a little sadder ever year since, knowing just how much good stuff our friend has missed out on; the parties, the surfs, the Origin matches, the girlfriends, the trips away, falling in love, getting really good at your job, having kids and doing Dutch ovens at the traffic lights.

I know we all think it - not every day - but we say it to ourselves; why, why did he have to miss out?

Now think if we or "he", could go back in time and change the moment when his life ended, just by making a different choice? That ain't weakness, that's the ultimate power, the ultimate strength and that's what I'm asking you to do.

Walk away from that grub and his mates. Don't go looking for it. Laugh off the insults. Jump in a cab. Get in your car.

And wake up tomorrow and enjoy your life.

Sam de Brito's latest novel Hello Darkness is in bookstores now. You can follow him on Twitter here. His email address is here.

45 comments so far

  • That's good advice, and could also apply to men of various ages who get caught up in road rage - but what does a young man do when another man walks straight up and delivers a king hit with no warning or provocation? It happened last weekend in Kings Cross and a man is now dead.

    What can you do about being chased and punched from behind when you're trying to walk away from a gang of street thugs who want to pick a fight for no other reason than you're not one of them? It happened to me in George St Sydney a long time ago. Stay away from the places where it's most likely to happen, is all you can do. But then, who do the streets belong to?

    Commenter
    rudy
    Date and time
    July 13, 2012, 9:40AM
    • Amen Sam. Thankyou for writing this. I've got to admit it made my throat choke up a bit and eyes misty.

      Commenter
      Kaindia
      Date and time
      July 13, 2012, 10:11AM
      • Nice piece. I was quite violent when I was in my teens, wish I’d read that or something like it when I was fourteen.

        Commenter
        Nyd
        Date and time
        July 13, 2012, 10:28AM
        • For once De Brito, I'd have to say, "Too Bloody Right".

          Commenter
          Spike
          Date and time
          July 13, 2012, 10:33AM
          • Wendell, love that old school Sydney shit.

            Yeah, it's better to just get a woman and settle down and not go out to these shit hole sausage fest sordid money draining nightclubs if one can. However much easier said than done in my opinion.

            Commenter
            Fred
            Date and time
            July 13, 2012, 11:05AM
            • The human mind is too easily manipulated, I blame generations raised on TV.

              Commenter
              kermit the log
              Location
              sydney
              Date and time
              July 13, 2012, 11:08AM
              • And you say that because people were never manipulated before television?

                Commenter
                hired goon
                Date and time
                July 13, 2012, 11:54AM
            • 100% right Sam. Top stuff. Unfortunately men are lumbered with the onerous burden that is testosterone, we are hard-wired to bristle and fight rather than walk away. It is a real test of mental strength to go against that nature - but we must.

              Ever seen the show "Louie" made by Louis CK? An episode called "Bully" perfectly captures the dichotomy at play within men, and even where violence springs from. Brilliant

              Commenter
              bumpacius
              Location
              sydney
              Date and time
              July 13, 2012, 11:10AM
              • Quintus: People should know when they are conquered.
                Maximus: Would you, Quintus? Would I?

                Commenter
                180AD
                Location
                frontier
                Date and time
                July 13, 2012, 11:36AM
              • bumpacius Jul 13, 2012, 11:10AM: Testosterone would not be as heavy a burden as it might be if it weren't linked to alcohol culture, a huge factor in almost all cases of violence.

                Commenter
                Spike
                Date and time
                July 13, 2012, 4:26PM

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