For a while there was a gruff old Cuban boxer who came to my sifu’s kung fu school. He had the temperament of a bully and the build of a pitbull, and he would always just muscle people around in push hands. He basically touted the fact that he could beat up anybody in the school. He got on many people’s nerves, including mine. To make things worse, my sifu seemed to not only turn a blind eye but to praise the guy for being so soft and sensitive (which he wasn’t at all).

One day I was dogsitting for a friend, and brought the dog to school with me and leashed him by the front door. When the boxer came he asked for someone to come control the dog so he could enter the school. It turned out he had a phobia of dogs. It struck me that if somebody wanted to be totally safe from this guy, all they would have to do would be to have a dog with them.

Eventually he stopped coming, and when my sifu finally got around to phoning and inquiring about why, it turned out that he was paralyzed as a result of an aneurysm.

Even the toughest, scariest individuals among us are still flawed and fragile human beings.

Instead of wishing harm upon anyone, wish for all sentient beings to know peace.

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