Friday, 23 April 2010

The First and the Last

I lived a distance from school a journey I made four times a day. I wandered slowly down in the morning wishing I was going elsewhere, I ran at great speed there and back at lunchtime and wandered slowly home at night. The journey home I took the long path through the field, even then I had a love of nature born from my Sunday walks with my father.

One day I was followed by one of the school bullies, he was threatening me with all sorts of threats if I did not do what he wanted. I was trembling in my shoes, what was I going to do? I could run, but I knew that would be useless. Without thinking I turned and threw my fist in his direction. It connected with his face causing a cut to his lip and causing his nose to bleed. The next morning the bully was not in the line of pupils waiting to go into school. The teacher came out and called my name telling me I was to go and see the head teacher. There in his room was the bully and his mother. The head teacher said to the mother, “Do you see what I mean about the difference in size?” nevertheless I was given a lecture about fighting. A lecture I really did not need because I had already made up my mind that what had happened would never ever occur again.

There is the wonderful story of the soldier and the Zen Master. The soldier came to ask if there really was a paradise and a hell. The master asked, “Who are you?” The soldier with great pride said, “I am a samurai.”

“You a soldier,” said the master, “look at you, who would ever want you to guard his gate? You look more like a beggar than a soldier.” The soldier grew very angry and drew his sword. “Ah you have a sword,” said the master, “I am sure it is so dull it is of no use.”

The soldier raised the sword to strike. The master said, “Here open the doors to hell.” The soldier thought for a moment and put his sword in its sheath. “Here open the doors to paradise.” said the master.

Whether we live our life as if a living hell or a paradise full of friends and love is a matter of the choices we make.

I guess if I had boasted of beating the school bully I might have had a few more punches to throw. But here I am all those years later still remembering the one and only punch I have ever thrown.

This post is linked to my other blog where I discuss the artwork used:- Alpha-Omega


  1. Another story filled with wisdom This one did make me smile however - I wasn't expecting you to say that you punched the bully! I thought you would send him some light or something. Have a lovely weekend, Ralph. Hope you spend it in creative pursuits. xx

  2. Being a victim of bullying myself, Ralph, I had to throw up a little cheer for you. I hope that cretin never bothered you again.

  3. My son finally stood up to a bully who'd been taunting him for years. All it took was one punch too and he never bothered him again...

    As a mother, I was very pleased he stood up for himself, even if the school decided to suspend him...

  4. Thanks for your wonderful and thought provoking stories. I feel it's always going to be a good day when I wake to find one of your posts in my inbox. Thanks for engaging my brain.

  5. EVIL grows, where GOOD is too lazy or cowardly to stop it; is also a good advice to act for good! So you did right, Ralph...

  6. I was in many scuffles growing up; many of them defending my siblings who I was expected to look out for.
    I had one bully I couldn't defeat...she was HUGE; but I did learn to run like hell and avoid her!

  7. paradise lives in your heart where you keep other treasures...thank you for commenting so often and so insightfully on my writing!