Sometimes you have to fight when you’re a man …

ImageRemember the Kenny Roger’s song, “Coward of the County”?

“… Promise me, son, not to do the things I’ve done.Walk away from trouble if you can.It won’t mean you’re weak if you turn the other cheek.I hope you’re old enough to understand: Son, you don’t have to fight to be a man …”

I grew up with those lyrics. And many similar “story” songs by the likes of Loretta Lynn, Ronnie Millsap, Marty Robbins, Roy Clark, The Statler Brothers (yes, we’re talkin’ County AND Western here folks). To this day, I love that kind of music — of course most of these aforementioned artists were singing their tales of woe long before music videos became mainstream, and I think, that perhaps I liked the genre so much because my brain had to fly off on a tangent and create the characters in my imagination … similar, I suppose, to writing the fiction that I do now.

But, unlike the father’s suggestion in “Coward of the County”, when faced with the fight or flight decision I typically have not been the one to turn the other cheek. No, usually I have been the fighter. I have tried, over the years, to learn the difference between the good fight and the bad fight, to recognize what’s worth fighting for and what’s not, and I try to ignore intentional provocations. But sometimes, the irrational side wins out and I succumb to fighting a bad fight.

Once, not all that long ago, I let a “provoker” needle and needle me until I was backed into a corner so deep my conscience wrapped me with battle armor and forced my hand. And unfortunately for me, in my rage of fury I did not spit out the wise words I had intended. Instead I stumbled and let anger take over and my wrath was not as poignant as as I’d liked it to be. Dramatic, yes. Heart wrenching, no.

Still, I don’t regret having, shall we say, “flown off the handle” — because …

… there are times, when the risk of making a fool out of one’s self is the far better choice than standing with one’s back against the wall …

“I promised you, dad, not to do the things you’ve done.
I walk away from trouble when I can.
Now please don’t think I’m weak, I didn’t turn the other cheek,
And papa, I sure hope you understand:
Sometimes you gotta fight when you’re a man.”

Today’s post inspired by The Daily Prompt: This Is Your Song“Take a line from a song that you love or connect with. Turn that line into the title of your post.”

14 comments

  1. Time has passed when you could turn the other cheek i think, does not mean that we have to fight all the time but we need to adopt to what is now.

    • Indeed. Turin the other cheek might keep someone from “earning” enemies but in the end it only hurts oneself when you don’t stick up for your beliefs. Thanks for the comment!!

      Shauna Nosler The Flavored Word

  2. When it comes to fight or flight you usually won’t see me for dust! However if I am fighting for someone else I am more likely to stand my ground. I find it hard to get the middle ground where I can assert what I think without losing it :-)

    • exactement, but in French there are accents over the a and the final e. Hell, there is an accent over the whole damn word, (but I catch your drift).

    • You know I hadn’t thought of It like that – but it’s true, people do often fight harder for others than themselves.

      Shauna Nosler The Flavored Word

  3. I can’t articulate well when I’m mad or backed into a corner. I hate that.
    Also. There’s a stranger in my house….somebody here that I can’t see! <— it's sad cuz he's actually blind….LOL

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