My best friend from Cainta always warned me to never be at the bridge separating Ortigas and Ortigas Extension or at Junction. He is willing to go so far as to bring me over to a well lit well people filled spot where I can get a ride home or despite the hassle, let me stay for the night at their place. On the way home from a dinner I asked a friend to just drop me off at junction against the lesson being ingrained in my head. The place is not well lit and people don’t go there if they had a choice. There’s no security or anything that will make you feel safe at that place.
A few months ago I saw how street thieves rob the un-alert commuters in Baclaran when I got off a bus. I saw this everyday when I was about to go home from my night shift job. I saw them do this to an old lady. My lola had been a victim of this a couple of times. I saw them do this to a cute student. Her backpack’s pocket had been opened and they tossed out papers fumbling for her wallet or mobile phone.
How they do it.
Little Kids a group of three to four or more sometimes ten of fifteen or so at the time. Some kids try to beg for alms. Some kid tries open your bag or backpack and take what’s inside. One or two might be armed with a stabbing weapon. Its all team effort.
My workmate shared that she gave a kid begging for alms a five peso coin. The kid casually told her. You’re a nice lady. It’s a a good thing. If you didn’t give me anything me and my friends would have taken your bag and might have stabbed you. A group of street kids walked past them and the beggar child disappeared into the crowd.
I couldn’t think of a reason why I got off at Junction. It’s the closest place where I knew to get a ride home. I didn’t care much for my safety because I knew I’ll be safe anyway.
I kissed my friend goodbye and got off her car. Crossed the street and avoided the homeless sleeping in the dark corners of the sidewalk. My spider sense was… I meant my common sense was tingling. I felt a light ghost like presence behind me and I can only conclude. A kid sneaked up on me. Trying to take something from my backpack. The Baclaran scene played in my head. We already have data on how this goes. Time to act accordingly I told myself. Time to avenge that cute student who got her light blue jan sport backpack stolen from. It’s clobbering time!!!!
I spun grabbed his hand and smashed my umbrella to his face. He landed face first on the metal barrier three feet away from me. I couldn’t see clearly but he seemed to pause not knowing what to do because he didn’t expect me to retaliate.
I walked toward him preparing to neutralize him. Arming my mind with the next possible moves I can launch. Expecting his back up. Watching my surroundings for an attack. Nobody came. I slowed down a bit to give him an opportunity to run.
There’s more of them I tell myself. I need to deal with him appropriately. The closest thing I could think of were dogs and bullies.
I walked toward him as if I was going to club him to death with my umbrella. He scrambled to run. I heard more footsteps running away. His back up didn’t back him up.
In a fight or any hostile situation. People perceive the aggressive one to have superior abilities.
So they will flee 90% of the time.I learned this from observing dogs. I grew up back when there were no laws and regulations with leaving dogs to roam in the streets. My childhood play mate got chased by one and was bitten by a dog. It wasn’t like in the cartoons. His leg and arm were bloody and all. For a kid who admired “The Predator” and “Mortal Kombat” I couldn’t bear to watch. He had to go to a doctor for anti-rabies injections several times.
I read a lot of comics and watched a lot of movies. Wolverine doesn’t run from dogs. He stares them down and moves closely toward them. In the narration Wolverine says something like “they back down. Good for them. I have no stomach for gutting animals. Humans however are another story.”
Vin Diessel did the same thing in the “Chronicles of Riddick”. Being the geek that I am I copied them. It even worked on 10 large dobermans from back when I was going to Morong, Rizal. They bark at me angrily but after a few minutes I am petting them. My response is the same to dogs for several years.Some quotes on dealing with fear that I memorized but never really appreciated because they I didn’t apply them to my life consistently:Do not give in to fear.
Run to where your fear is and not away from it. -Kevin Olega Embrace your fear and it is your enemy no longer. - Yoda Fear tells you what you need to be doing. The opposite direction of where fear is leading you. - Tim Ferriss
What you fear most doing is what you most need to do. I’ve been bullied by people who clearly are no match for me. I can hit harder. I’m smarted and I can take more hits than them. I looked back and thought how none of the people who bullied me are actually all bark and no bite. I armed myself with martial arts. I armed myself with knowledge and tools to increase my capability for violence but fear had won out. The fear changed from “I’m afraid they will beat me” to “I might end up going to jail for killing them if we ever end up fighting.” I’m armed to the teeth like Batman but I act like a pussy and I let them bully me.
I see this situation as a blessing because I recall and learn from the error of my ways.
I have a fear of failure and a fear of success. Both crippled me to inaction in a form of analysis paralysis.I didn’t realize that this lesson was important to my development and today as I write this piece. I am amazed at how things are put together and how awesome epiphanies can be.I’ve avoided a lot of things out of fear. I lost a long time relationship because of bad decisions that I made because of fear. I quit my first profitable business because of fear of being ridiculed. My first profitable business imploded on me because of bad decisions that I made out of fear (but that’s for another story). I missed out on perfectly good opportunities because I fear it’s not enough or I fear I’m not good enough. Shit. I don’t know if I’m angry at myself or happy that I’m finally free because of this realization.
Today I hugged my mom. We fight a lot. We sometimes use foul language at each other. I’m working on breaking the habit. We fight hard like enemies but we know we love each other and never give up. She called me plastic (a local jargon for fake) for hugging her and telling her I love her. I told her I’m biking to a friend’s place. In case I run into an accident and don’t get the opportunity to come back I told her that I want her last memory of me to be a pleasant one.
I imagine how Barney Stinson deal with something he fears.
,You have two options, One, You let me pet you or two You watch me slowly stare you down and let me intimidate you and let me pet you. Your call.
What do you do with your fear? Do you remember dealing with dogs or do you let yourself be bullied by fear?
**I encourage you to let your fear assist you to be a better person. I’d like to hear about your story in the comments bellow. **
Thank you for reading.