Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Perspectives on Non-intimidation

Taking the high road, the long view, from two wheels

The mayor's wife, Nicole Stanton, has launched an anti-bullying initiative called "Stop Bullying AZ", which got me thinking. On the ride in to work, it became very clear to me that it is my heartfelt intention to not intimidate anyone, intentionally or otherwise. Which got me thinking about intimidation itself.

Intimidation flows downhill, I think, and is often the recourse of someone who feels intimidated by something greater. A bee flew into my helmet vent. I grabbed the brakes, skidded to a stop, ripped off my helmet, and did my best "Three Stooges" imitation, NYUK NYUK NYUK, trying to brush the innocent beast off my head. The Stooges schtick made me laugh, rather than feel intimidated, and then I looked down and saw a goathead thorn embedded in my front tire. Thoughtless reach down and flick it off, and felt the sharpness bite into my flesh. Now I had a goathead thorn stuck in my finger. More Stooges to take the edge off: at least my puncture guard on my tire was working, no HISSSSSSSSSSS sound followed the de-thorning.

Instead of getting all bent out of shape over the bee and thorn (what is it with me and sharp things??), I paused a moment in the bike lane and took a couple deep breaths. The sky overhead appeared exactly as in the photo. It took me away from my little concerns for a moment, up and above the brief local annoyances and to a bit wider, broader view of these petty things. The bee flew off unhurt. The thorn did no lasting harm. I had a spontaneous Three Stooges incident to remember. These thoughts permitted me to regain a sense of equilibrium and patience, peace or perspective if you will, and took me back to the train of thought about intimidation or bullying.

We're in this together. People matter, and we have much common ground to work from.

Bees sting (sometimes) and thorns poke (usually). So what? I'm riding my bike to work, and I'm not going to let any of it bother me. That is, I'm not going to lapse into being intimidated by bees, or thorns, or traffic, to knock me off my perspective. I've got both a strong center and a long view in sharp perspective, and those are more along the lines of what I would wish to pass along, if I pass along anything. 

Intimidation is often the refuge of the intimidated. I won't be pulled into that. Perhaps we might go for a bike ride, and talk it over instead.


  1. No goathead thorns up here - unlike TX and AZ.

  2. It may be less common, but I think the stuff grows anywhere there's dirt and some sunshine.


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