The Code 02 27 2010
I call this one the code but it could also be called the nature of responsibility.
Drinking and partying are more prevalent when you are in High School and College. What do you do when your friends become obnoxious and start trouble by insulting strangers at bars? One of my less obnoxious friends once told me, "You always backup a friend." I disagreed, “If a friend is drawing you into trouble with them, are they truly your friend?" .
In my younger days I was tougher than my friends and developed a secret code of conduct to keep everyone out of trouble.
If a friend causes trouble that leads to a fight, when you tried to stop them, it's their trouble. The best you can do is to protect your friend defensively. Then get both of you out of there.
If you cause trouble, do not expect anyone else to fight your fight. You caused it, it is your responsibility. Would you be a good friend to your friends if they were drawn in and got badly hurt? As the bible says, "You have to walk that road alone."
If someone else causes trouble with your friend first, stand your ground and try and scare them off. If trouble keeps brewing get your friend and walk slowly and straight by the trouble makers without looking at them, they are not worthy of that. If you do look at them, look them straight in the eye and back it up with a feeling that the world does not deserve that, coupled with it. It is okay to show a little righteous strength as you walk by. If you have to defend your friend in a defensive manner as best you can.
When you and your friend are out of trouble confront him and talk sternly to them. In high school I confronted a friend who was much bigger than I, and said, “I’m not going to put up with that.” All he could say back was, "I'm tired of your meaningless threats." Repetition paid off, and his behavior changed for the better.
If your friend gives you all the free beer you could ever drink, are they really your friend? If they get you into drugs or involved with bad people they are exactly the opposite of your friend.
If you no longer want to be a friend tell them why. What the behavior was you didn’t like, years later they will be thankful for this.
This article was meant for college students but I am finding it is relevant to gangs also. Without rules of conduct you are no better than a gang member who will likely have a miserably shortened life with a violent ending. Gangs ruin for themselves, the very communities in which they live in. People join gangs out of fear. Fear of growing up and being a responsible adult. Fear of losing pro wrestler self image of greatness that isn't true. As a boy becomes a man this ego naturally lessons. It is part of maturation. This does not mean you should not assert opinions when you think you are right. Just the opposite is true, you learn to listen to others and still assert what you think is right. And if you find you are wrong, accept that you are wrong; this is the heart of learning.
About fifteen years ago Al Pacino once said on a late night talk show that his mother kept him in the house and would not let him play with street gang members who were are all incidentally dead or in prison.
The complacent group behavior, whether seen in college students drinking or gang members, is for boy's who can’t stand on their own, or for themselves, not for men. It is the way of the coward. It is detrimental to society as a whole not just you.
It’s hard to find good friends, let’s keep the ones we have out of trouble.
Copyright 2010 Thomas Paul Murphy