Saturday, October 25, 2008


When growing up, my mum raised me to believe in right and wrong, a strict set of morals as my compass and that life was black and white.

I believed what I was taught until my early 30's when I had a epiphany...
People who I thought were lying or being deceptive... weren't. In many cases those who I thought were bearing false witness just had a different perception of what transpired.
Wow, Mother was wrong and this epiphany freed me to see beyond my own perception.
I'll temper this epiphany with the following: while a person's perception makes them believe what they think are the "facts", it doesn't always make them correct or right. Perception can be distorted by many factors, drug & alcohol use, personal beliefs,mental illness and manipulation by others with a agenda.
It was George Bernard Shaw who observed that Britain and America are two countries divided by a common language. Thanks to the internet, we former colonials can anger our British cousins and they us with a stroke of a key and the enter button. Often these internet flame wars start over how each post is perceived by those across the pond and not the true intent of the poster. Sometimes, it's those who wish to stir the pot for some sort of personal gain or pleasure. These kind of people are found on both sides of the Atlantic.
Wouldn't it be nice if more of us in the WMA world looked beyond the manipulation by others and learned to see beyond our current perception of events?
It might help us all grow as western martial artists.


HemaGoth said...

I had a similar epiphany at what would be considered a young age for that kind of thing.

This is the other meaning of sitting on the fence- I wanted to be a voice of moderation to Hemaboy, laced with what it means to be new to this fantastic hobby. But That Stuff makes it hard to tell him he's wrong.

I looked at the moderator misconduct (the part I challenged) from both sides of the fence- if I was around earlier, I may have called the others on their actions. But I am now, not past and I call on behaviour I have observed. The limited interaction I have had with Mr Rawlings suggests that, at best, he was a victim of the culture gap- his knowledge and joy of teaching considerably outweighs his ego. But I am looking forward, not back.

I suspect quite a lot of these problems and politics would be solved if we could say, 'ok, carry on when you get back from the bar'. Or maybe even- do you want to fight about it?

Some tones you would have missed, but that is to be expected with culture differences. I know there's certain boorish behaviour that I despise that is considered normal by our ex-subjects.

Hemaboy said...

Keep it up BBB, at this rate I may even get to like you. ;)

La Bete said...

I don't think it is just the US/UK cultural differences that lead to the misunderstandings. This is a written medium and it is very easy for the reader to assume a different tone to that intended by the author. How many times have we seen people think others are angry, offended or being sarcastic when they are not.

There are those who like to foment discord and they are doing quite well. However out of this can grow positive things - like increased communication and respect. the current crop of blogs are a great example of this. Yours, hemagoths, hemaboys - all voices that we may not have heard if it wasn't for the spat at SFI.