Are you strong enough to gaze into the heart of your enemy, and see yourself?

Grasping that others are human, that most violence and anger stems from fear, does not mean letting people hurt you. You have the right and obligation to protect yourself and your family. Rather, seeing their humanity makes you safer, because once the moment of confrontation has passed, it allows you to evolve strategies to prevent the next one. “What are they afraid of? How can I reduce that fear? Is it possible that their fear is based on something real that I can remove from the equation?” Grasping this is like cutting the oxygen off from a fire, or using an antibiotic to fight a fever, rather than Tylenol. Violence against violence is fighting the fever. Fight the infection itself.
This requires more strength than most people possess. It is easier to dehumanize, because that allows you to kill with impunity. The warrior arts teach us to do what is necessary, in the moment, with clarity, to survive. But also ask us to respect our enemies. I speak only to those with the strength to protect AND love. To draw the line AND see the humanity in those they oppose. To see that other human beings act from the same motivations that move THEM. These are my tribe.

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