Battling The Paper Tiger

With the invisible dragon.

I occasionally encounter people who fight unnecessary battles. On some days it is me. Whether I’m arguing today with someone in 1965 or perfecting the perfect squelch for someone who may never deserve it, I am wasting my time and energy – also my tranquility.

The social media pages I frequent are often battlegrounds, and I have learned to recognise the fights as they shape up. Some are deliberate commercial and political set-ups designed to harvest anger or other emotions and turn them to some account. Some are just free-wheeling arguments by people who have no other employment. At one time I might have joined in – lately I’ve learned to not even look or listen.

Because, quite frankly, my participation in social media really should just be an extension of my interaction with the world in general – at one with the way I go to the shops or read a book or meet with friends. In the real breathing and moving world I would look away from a verbal spat between people in the mall and move away from a physical confrontation. It would be an act of folly to court these confrontations on a computer screen.

Cowardice? Possibly. Discretion? Surely. And now I am just realising that this has been the case for me all my life. It may explain why some people see me as calm and patient – I might be. Of course there have been occasions of boiling rage and dire distress but these probably weren’t observed at the time. And most of the dragons and tigers that might have existed are long ago and far away.

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