In my youth every Saint Patty’s day the networks would show the movie The Quiet Man, starring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara.
It was about an American prize fighter seeking to retire to the land of his ancestors and leave his fighting background behind. In the process he meets and falls in love with a woman and they marry. The union is opposed by the woman’s brother, who happens to be the leading figure in town both in size and prosperity. The brother detests Wayne for taking away his sister/cook/housekeeper, and long story short, they end up fighting in a spectacular, Hollywood country fist fight over her dowery.
The movie does not reveal who won this fight, but it does depict them post-fight, arm in arm, staggering drunk together to Wayne’s cottage, now best buddies. As a kid this always confused me; weren't they worst enemies? Them bloodying each other up led them to like each other? How could this be?
On AOM, “iron sharpens iron” Brett says. I see guys go after each other, this time bloodlessly, with verbal punches. I’d like to know of the guys (and gals) who do a lot of debating here: have you grown to respect and actually like those who oppose you on a regular basis? And on a site where to “agree to disagree” is seen as a cop out, where does that leave you if your opponent does not back down? (actually any conflict experience you've had with another man would be helpful, not just on this site) Would you return to your home, drunk together, arm in arm, best buddies?
Or is that only in the movies?
I'll have to re-watch the movie, I guess. Been several years.
Proverbs 27:17 "Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another." This quote comes from the biblical Book of Proverbs.
Proverbs are not full proof in their outcomes, but they do give the the most reliable average outcomes whether they are for success or failure.
Speaking of, anyone have thoughts on Dowrys? They still exist, sort of, in the US.
It's been rephrased from Dowry to "baggage."
Seriously though, in some ethnic groups we do still have both Dowry's and their counterpart, Bride Price (this one is still common in many groups). I think generally, both have outlived their usefulness and won't last much longer except as cultural touchstones - probably becoming more ritualized than anything (token gifts).
I didn't pay my father-in-law to marry his daughter, he paid me and was thankful for it. (LOL)
In conflict, denigration of any person is always unacceptable. Let it not be forgotten that we all need grace and mercy whether we are the "winner" or "loser." There are always people who don't like us and/or we don't like them, but this never should give license for belittlement. We routinely fail at this and that's why we all need mercy.
In my career as an educator of children, if a child stepped over the boundaries of our classroom rules, I would ask the student if he/she wanted me to be fair with them or give them mercy. Most, if not all children, want things to be fair. They learned quickly that it is better to receive mercy than fairness since if I were to be fair, the student would receive the full punishment for the rule breaking. If they received mercy, it was undeserved and we would forget about the entire episode.
If a new kid came into our school and tried to the boundaries, I would ask them the same fairness/mercy question. The experienced ones always whispered to the offender that he should choose mercy.
Under the mercy,
I think that sometimes, after two guys have beaten the crap out of each other and are both too tired to continue, they cease to see the point in beating the crap out of each other and find a way to live peaceably, even if the root of the conflict remains unresolved.
In the case of the movie I think it was each earned the respect of the other. John Wayne's character was a prize fighter who killed his opponent in the ring and it haunted him. That was the reason behind his 'retirement'.
Had plenty of brawls at work. No big deal. Everyone laid in, got it sorted and then went back to work. Anyone caught using a weapon was fired on the spot. Fists and feet in a measured manner is no big deal.
I only ever saw one nasty injury when a guy went flying through a window and cut his neck - unusual because windows tend not to last long when it kicks off.
For those who think this sort of action is unusual? Ever played rugby, Aussie Rules etc?