Your Precious Velocity

As hard as you may be, you won’t stand a chance at direct confrontation if you’re up against something or someone who’s sizably bigger than you. And if you think your velocity is a formidable demonstration of your will, don’t be surprised when you’re left buried, or shattered to pieces.

“Wait,” you say, “I’m actually faster and tougher than my opponent. I won’t be destroyed.” If that’s true, you might give him a dent– and then proceed to bounce off him like a deflected joke. Superior strength or speed aren’t defacto game winners; just ask the baseball smacking the surface of a lake, or the rock striking the parking lot. Both of these nimble fighters would lose the direct-engagement strategy, even given their advantages.

Face it, if you’re fighting a battle where the bad guy is so much bigger than you, then neither hardness nor speed will work in your favor. And if your enemy’s quite a bit softer than you, you’ll simply penetrate his surface when you strike. It wouldn’t have mattered that you had more structural integrity; he was bigger, and you got buried. As before, you will not win. You’ll remain lodged underground, or underwater, where no one can see you, and your voice is muffled to silence.

With direct confrontation, if your enemy’s mass happens to be harder, there’s no doubt you’ll break up into a pile of debris. And if you and your opponent are of equal strength– a condition that’s as rare as matching two custom color paints– then it will be you who’ll be bounced, not he. You will either be bounced and expelled where your superior energy works against you, or you’ll ricochet until you come to rest, perhaps somewhere on your opponent’s surface. Prepare now, to be a part of his system.

Let’s summarize, to this point. In a direct confrontation with a much larger enemy, the following apply:

You being harder = you’ll get buried.

You being faster = you’ll get smashed.

You being equal hardness = you’ll get bounced.

Do you think we’re discussing formal war? We are not. We are discussing your life. Aren’t you at war? You most certainly are, informally of course. We all are. And we all are fighting foes that dwarf us.

Does your employer support activities that violate your core values? You’re at war.

Do your local, regional or national politicians represent your social interests, or others’? You’re at war.

Do your “favorite manufacturers” from whom you purchase goods share your environmental concerns?

Do people of your race or ethnicity embarrass, frighten, or offend you? And so on.

You, a person alone, cannot fight these foes. Is fight too strong a word for you? How about engage, change, educate, minimize, pick a word that’s easier for you to swallow. I assure you, it’s war. Coat it in the sweetener of your choice. Close your eyes, don’t read the wrapper, and take it down that way if you must.

You, a person who’s linked with others who are like-minded, are still too small for the greater enemy. You will be smashed, buried, or deflected unless you conduct yourself in a different way. We have framed this as war, but if you prefer, we can simply state our activity as engagement for the means to defeat the opponent.

Here’s an alternate view. I will spell it out for you. Do with it, as you wish.

Do not go to active war. Do preserve yourself.

Preserve yourself, and preserve what you believe in. Keep watch on the opponent. Take care of your friends and grow your numbers– increase your size. Win the fight organically, where nature will cede to the party of superior displacement. This means you must ally with Father Time. This means your precious velocity isn’t the asset you thought it was. In fact, the speed in which your kind has prided itself in has perhaps kept others from joining you.

Velocity is your enemy!

Take the steps naturally. You might not live long enough to see your side prevail. This means you must be satisfied with your course of action and the course of world, and the current fortunes of your particular war. If you are not satisfied, if you want to rev up and smash your opposition, you are not fighting to this alternate plan. You will lose, and there will be one less place for new allies to gravitate to.

Do not remove your station. Build your station.

You must not kill others. You must not firebomb nor smash nor disrupt. You will gather and conduct yourself in a means that will attract others to your center.

Your enemy is much bigger than you, and the plus side is, there are many on that side who are discontent with their course. You can’t see these people; be assured they are there.

The enemy’s discontented population have a variety of reasons for feeling less-than-onboard, but they are afraid of disengaging with the mass because nothing has yet presented a more suitable new home. They fear isolation and attack. So they remain in the mass.

Be the home others are seeking. Be the side that one would want to be allied with. Be ready for their ideas. Those people might be clinging to the other side based on only one principle. I’m not saying take on those principles. I’m saying, make your ethics and your way of life so overwhelmingly “at home”, that people from the other side will sacrifice the one or two strands that hold them away from you.

CAPTION: Velocity will get you smashed if this is the way you choose to fight.

About Ara Hagopian's The LITERATE Show

For over thirty years, I have enjoyed drawing beautiful shapes and writing complementary stories. The imagery tends to focus on our place in the world—whomever or whatever we may be. I am influenced by Twentieth Century history—I read vintage magazines, books and letters. Inspiration comes from visualizing human achievement and personal interaction—derived from people, places and things which may be obscure, but never insignificant. My pen-and-ink THE MAGNIFICENT RECOVERY was selected by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston for their 2008 summer art auction.
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