"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Wednesday 24 April 2013

An early lesson learned

I wasn't a day older than six . But the memory is as clear as if it happened this morning.

My walk to school was down a dirt road to the Meadow Farm. If it was raining we had to skip across puddles. After the rain stopped and the sun came out ,sparrows would flutter their wings on the edge of the puddle  taking a bath.

 At the end of that road was a smoke blackened ,spooky old school for Protestant kids.

Then a stretch of road with high walls on either side. Around the corner, alongside the river to the footbridge was the Waterside. I

I had to cross the river. Once across, the swings were on one side and the slaughter house on the other. If they were killing, the blood ran out  from a pipe straight into the river.

 School was on the moor at the top of a brae. Protestant kids were coming the opposite way to their school. I became aware of a bigger girl regularly making threatening moves. I watched and went out of my way to avoid her.

 Then the inevitable happened. I looked up one morning and found her looming over me. Feet planted wide,arms akimbo, I knew there was no escape.

 At six years old, you don't really know who you are. Most experience is new. I could have yelled. I could have cowered. I could have covered my head for protection. Or I could have begged for mercy

None of those things occurred to me.

 I clenched my fist, pulled my arm back and landed one right in the face. Then I ran . In a wide circle and never looked back until I was safe inside the school gate.

 I was a skinny little kid with a limp. Typical target for a bully.I doubt my small fist did much harm. I never saw my tormentor again.

 But I never forgot the satisfaction of landing that punch and taking care of the situation.

I don't go out of my way looking for a fight. But I never back away without giving a good account of myself.


Anonymous said...

Last night the bullying was extremely obvious. From the ' audience ' who once more purported to represent the entire town. To councillor Ballard's assertion that " I am not on a witch-hunt " following immediately by his attack on staff. An on-going attack which was not stopped cold as it should have been. Aurora is doomed to repeat its nastier history.
It is up to council to make decisions & to maintain decency. That was their failure. Not that the tower was not stopped. Ballard has known about that thing for ages. All his ' critical timing ' stuff is complete nonsense. He just wanted it as a bludgeon. Scary dude.

Anonymous said...

< insert applause here >

Anonymous said...

I had seen enough of the sheep dog trials by about 10:30. Was anything done to the Agenda business ?

Anonymous said...

Looks like the fight in you started at an early age, too bad you couldn’t use that round house knockout blow in the chambers , you'd pack the place and I'd wager the farm ,you’d clean house , Go granny Go !