Who is the stronger man?

September 6, 2016

Today I was asked my a group of villagers to act as a magistrate. Since I was in the field a makeshift court was hastily convened underneath a tree. The proceedings were conducted ex parte – only the man who punched the another man was there to present his case. The man who threw the punch exclaimed, he deserves it.

I asked of this man…did the other man draw his side arm (I assumed he was carrying a parang as it’s very common to do so when one is in the field) after the punch was thrown. The man replied ‘no.’ Someone in the crowd asked, ‘what has that got to do with it…he deserved what he got.’ I told that man in the crowd to stand out and explained to him, the fact the man who was punched did not draw his weapon could only mean two things. Firstly, he is afraid and does not want to make his lot worse. Alternatively, he is a man of restraint and harbors no malice.

I then asked was a police report made thereafter. Again the man answered ‘no.’ To which I concluded the same again…only this time, I went on to add – the man who was punched must have accepted some measure of culpability for this dispute…that is why he did not go to the police. But even if he is out of line, it is very wrong to resort to violence. There can be no excuse for this. This cannot be condoned.

With those words, I threw a stave on the ground and told the man before me to go and apologize to this other man that very day before the sun goes down.

Go now! I told him, make up in the spirit of brotherhood when his heart is still soft. As if you leave it to tomorrow, his heart would have hardened by then like stone and soon you will be like two strangers staring a each other with daggers from two distant mountains.

Do not delay go now!


“Maturity, one eventually discovers, has everything to do with the open hearted acceptance of one’s acts and omissions. At one level of maturity this can be interpreted as taking responsibility for one’s actions. At an even higher level, it is simply the wisdom to know what is right from wrong and having the manliness to do what needs doing.

When a man is attuned to what is right and wrong – only then can he be truly considered mature. As that is when he is perfectly aligned with correctness of conduct and speech.

Men who live in self made lies are the opposite of mature – as since they confect all sorts of ‘clever’ lies to avoid taking responsibility for their actions are no better than children who start fires only to pretend to sleep while the house burns down.”

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