Right Before Getting Punched In The Face
Recently, I went to a local diner to write. I sat and wrote from midnight to 3am. Since Rochester is a college town, we have a lot of night-life, and apparently one of the local high schools had just had prom because at one point about 30 young high school students filled the restaurant, and they were all in dresses and tuxedos.
Later, once the prom crowd had left, I noticed two beautiful young ladies (16-18 years old perhaps) sitting at a booth eating. As I looked up from my computer about 15 minutes after they sat down, I saw a man in his mid to late twenties come over to their booth and begin to pester them. He wasn’t aggressive; in fact he was actually pretty smooth. He talked about how he is a part of a frat house and they should come party with him and his friends sometime. He invited his other three friends over to the girl’s booth and began to try to persuade the girls to go with him and his friends to the house that night (this went on for over 30 minutes).
One of the two girls allowed him to keep talking, but the other one showed that she was very uncomfortable and kept saying, “No thank you, we are not interested.”
Personally, I have determined that a part of my calling as a man is to be a protector.
I wrote about this in my book Eyes of Honor (Pages 204-205). So if I have an opportunity to step up and protect, I WILL take it. Also during high school I did four years of competitive martial arts, so I haven’t been able to put that to good use in a long time but I would get very Old Covenant if I needed to.
As I watched to see if I was needed, the lead guy finally snapped and just took a hold of both girls by a wrist each and began to tug them out of their booth. Finally my opening! I jumped up from my table and wedged myself between his arm and one of the girl’s wrists and commanded him to “Let go right now.” He let go and backed up, angry and startled. I turned to the girls and said are you okay? The one girl that had been more chatty responded, “Yeah…. We are okay, there’s no problem.” Obviously she was not in touch with reality, so I turned to the sensible girl and asked her if she was okay, and she said “No, we are not okay.” I turned back to the man who now had his three buddies standing next to him. So now I have 4 guys in their mid-twenties lined up within three feet of me and the two girls behind me, one out of touch with reality and the other that is quite frightened.
So realizing that I am perhaps about to have the fight of my life, I put my finger in the face of the lead guy and said “You get out of this restaurant RIGHT NOW or else!” Thinking that they would be intimidating to me, they were a bit startled by this. One of the other guys actually looked scared and put his hand on the leader’s shoulder and said, “I think we should go…”
Within a few minutes they had peeled out of the parking lot and I was sitting with the girls advising them about protecting themselves better and having a higher value for their self-worth. Then later I walked them to their car.
As my adrenaline decreased, I remembered a fascinating story I had read from Malcolm Gladwell:
Excerpt from Malcolm Gladwell, chapter 1 from The Tipping Point (2000)
While I appreciate Gladwell’s observations. I would add a different angle.
I believe in making decisions about what type of person we are going to be. I am a protector.
When a situation presents itself, I will step up and put myself in harm’s way to protect. What if one of the 38 witnesses in Gladwell’s story had determined to always protect others?
I have a theory. Once a person takes on the role of standing up and protecting others, opportunities will abundantly present themselves.
The restaurant story is actually becoming a more common occurrence for me. Oddly enough it happened to me today.
As I was driving home from the store to write this very blog and thinking it through in my mind, I had a sudden urge to get an Arby’s Roast Beef Sandwich. My wife would say it was my stomach talking, but I am quite prophetic ;). Honestly, this was odd because I haven’t had anything from Arby’s in over a year at least.
As I pulled into the drive-through, I saw a young lady standing at the driver’s window of her car yelling across at someone in the passenger’s seat. Once I had circled the building I parked my car in the only open spot, which was kind of a weird angled spot about two car widths apart from her car but with nothing in between us (just grass).
From this spot I could see her inside the car and a young man sitting in the passengers seat; he was yelling, she was crying and yelling. They were both in their late teens or early twenties. As I was sitting there trying to determine if I should get involved or what I would even say, I saw him fake like he was going to hit her to cause her to flinch. Then she yelled some threat about how she was going to call 911. Well that was good enough for me.
I hopped out of my car looking quite intimidating with my shaved head and Aviator sunglasses on. I stepped around to her side of the car and yelled at him to be quiet. I put both of my hands on her car door and had her look at me and in my best cop impression; I asked her if he had laid a finger on her. She said no. I asked if she wanted me to call anyone to pick her up. She said no. I asked if there is anything else I could do to help her. She said no.
Although I wasn’t able to do as much in my experience today, I am pretty sure I scared that little punk. And maybe that’s good.
Ultimately here is this week’s point.
#1. Decide what type of person you are going to be.
#2. Know that once you make that choice, opportunities will present themselves, take those opportunities.
#3. Don’t wait for others. Be You Now. Somebodies life may depend on it.