How do you deal with confrontation? Do you avoid it? Stand your ground? Or do you start it? Well, I guess everything will depend on the situation, right? I think depending on doing what is right and lawful.
Everyone knows that I love to go fishing, but some people I meet on the waters banks may not enjoy the same passion. So one day I was fishing, I got into a confrontation with some persons who think that I should not be fishing in a certain location.
I was fishing a public area, and I was in the areas marked where I can fish. However, they did not like me fishing in that particular area. So instead of moving, I stood my ground and told them that I am not doing anything wrong. I then said some words that weren’t bad words, but just words of stubbornness. I fished for a little bit, but didn’t feel good. I didn’t like being pushed off an area for no good reason, and I didn’t like being harassed by people. By the way, this does happen to me a lot across the nation. I couldn’t help but feeling depressed and angry. So I just crouched down and really started to think about everything; my behavior, their behavior, my actions, my handling of the entire confrontation.
I didn’t do anything wrong, but still felt rotten. I felt like I let my Christian upbringing down, I felt that I let my family down, and my church down. As a pastor shouldn’t I just ignore this? Maybe I didn’t need to say anything at all, or just move to a different spot. I didn’t know what to really do, but I decided I just want to talk to them, start over, and just find an understanding of differences.
So I picked up my rods and started to track them. They weren’t far off, and I hollered to them and just said, I want to start over and reconcile to what happened back there. They looked confused, and wondered what my intentions were. I told them I don’t want to argue but I just want to talk and I want to hear them out as well.
We shared thoughts and I heard how they didn’t like anglers because they leave hooks and trash all over the place, which I couldn’t agree more. I too dislike seeing fishing trash laid all over the place. I told them that I felt bad for feeling like I was getting pushed around for fishing. I told them, I don’t like getting pushed around, but I also don’t like how I was feeling afterwards. In general we had a good talk, we both apologized for our outcome and making each other feel bad.
We are approaching the 4th of July and it is a time of celebration of our great nation. For the past year and even more, our country seems so divided on everything these days. Our country is diverse, there is no doubt about that. Everyone has a different opinion on everything. But that should never be the reason why we cannot let differences break us apart. Even if you may not agree with other people, there is no need to feel betrayed. We are all human, living in one country, just trying to do what we can to find happiness. We should do our best to try to listen to other people, not to try to vindicate your beliefs, but to just see the other as a fellow neighbor, friend, and citizen. It is ok, if you can’t get your way, it is ok if someone doesn’t agree with you. And it is perfectly fine.
As for my situation, there are plenty of fishing spots to go. I do not have to feel that this is my spot, this is my time, and this is the only place where the fish will be. I am human, I know I will make decisions that will disappoint the values that I uphold. Always choose peace over confrontation. Always be understanding and cheerful rather than stressed and angry. We only have one life, do the best each day to do some good in the world, even if that mean putting your ego in check.
Hey this is Rev. Brian Choi's random thought throughout my week. Most of this stuff, will probably be about family, church, fishing, music, movies, food, whatever I think of, hopefully it will have some sort of theological reflection (maybe).