Would you believe that social skills don’t come naturally to me?
No, really. I had to learn them the hard way. And, theÂ ‘hard way’ is a tough teacher for Little boys. Learning how to be ‘creative’ with the truthÂ (i.e.,Â ‘being polite’) was a skill that took a long time to acquire. I also believed that fighting was wrong, which meant that I attractedÂ bullies like a magnet.
The good thing is that I did learn how to be polite and did learn how to avoid fights. And,Â once I learned the art of avoiding fights, I never had another one.
TheÂ thing with fights is that there is usually an aggressor and a defender. But, if you are a harried teacher out on the play ground, how interested are you in figuring out who is which? When it’s you vs. a hundred screaming kids, how much effort are you going to put into figuring out who is the bully and who is the bullied?
That’s the part that sucks aboutÂ being a magnet for aggressors – teachers don’t care who started the fight, they just want it stopped and will apportion blame equally to get it stopped.
Have you ever been in that position?Â Remember how that felt?
Well, think about Israel. When Israel startedÂ down the road towards independent nationhood, they didn’t really believe in fighting. Jews for the past two thousand years have always believed that pacifism was the best approach – that friendliness and helpfulness was the best way to avoid violence.
Of course, history shows us that the Jewish people experienced poor results with this strategy. But, the first wave of Jewish immigrants toÂ Palestine brought with them a hope that this historical precedent would change -Â but they were still unwilling to do it with violence. And, we all knowÂ how THAT worked.
The bottom line is that, like me, IsraelÂ learned that the rest of the world was not interested in who the bully was, or who was the bullied. Israel learned that the rest of the worldÂ just wanted the fighting stopped and didn’t care how unjust they were when theyÂ apportioned blameÂ equally.
Like me,Â IsraelÂ eventuallyÂ learned how to avoidÂ fights.Â (It’s funny how a willingness to flatten someone can help avoidÂ battles.)Â The problem is that there are still aggressors out there who haven’t gotten the message,Â and Israel isÂ still being blamed for fighting – even when she is exercising her right to self defense.
And that sucks.Â Â