As many of you well know, there was a time not too long ago where I was on the verge of death.
For years, literally.
Your favorite Kung Fu Uncle was literal skin & bones. Somehow, I survived. By “pure force of will”? Perhaps. Out of spite for my enemies, known & unkown? Perhaps. In any case, a major factor that contributed to my survival and recovery was the support I received from the people around me. I fully believed those people were in my corner for the long haul, because I was at my weakest & they not only stayed but stayed loyal. As you know, my Kung Fu nieces & nephews, when dealing with people, “Loyalty is paramount”. The people I’ve been dealing with since my recovery began are the people with a demonstrated history of loyalty & trustworthiness.
Or so I thought.
It seems the reprieve that my surgery & move to the Midwest bought me has run out. The chaos & treachery of “the Dark Times” has returned. The War is on, again. The difference now, as opposed to that terrible time, is that I am no longer obligated by circumstance to be forgiving & trusting.
I am no longer dependent on the goodwill of others. So I must “do for myself”.
It would be a lie if I claimed that I didn’t have animosity for certain people, at the time. It would be a lie if I claimed that I don’t have animosity for certain people now. It’s a natural part of life, especially so in the World of Martial Arts. Put bluntly: We all have boundaries.
Violence is a potential outcome when someone violates those boundaries. A desire for revenge is nearly universal.
Previously, we’ve discussed ideas of this sort, notably in the post about the Code of the Xia. Without rehashing too much, one who follows the Code of the Xia is obligated to seek revenge under certain conditions. You read that correctly: obligated. Take a look at any of the classic Shaw Brother’s Kung Fu flicks about Wandering Swordsmen if you’re still unclear.
The issue that arises as a result is troublesome. What is to be done when the rules & laws of the society at large directly conflict with the action required of you, as an individual, by the principles you live your life in accordance with?
What do you DO when your soul craves blood, but the Law wants you to eat it & not make any trouble?
Guilt is an unusual thing.
In many ways, it has little to no basis in reality. Primarily, it is a creature of the Mind.
I haven’t done anything. Yet, I am being made to pay the price for another “man’s” choices. While hardly a unique situation, in it’s general plot, it is unusual for one reason.
On some level, I think that this is all my fault. For that reason alone, I am obligated to behave as if I truly am responsible for this situation.