Push Came To Shove

We often say ‘when push comes to shove’ to indicate taking events to a more serious level of consequence and action. Sadly the other day in Eastlakes that saying came tragically true when a 71 year old lady was pushed by a teenage youth after a minor altercation.  Whatever the argument between them, it does not justify a youth pushing an aged lady in the chest, knocking her down and making her head strike the concrete footpath.

I can well imagine the lady taking the youth to task for riding his push bike on the path and endangering the safety of pedestrians, particularly the elderly.  Or perhaps he was blocking her way and she merely tried to get past him. The other day at our local mall I said ‘excuse me’ to a young teen on a scooter, blocking the path to the car park. He moved but said “yah Dad, next time you move for me!” I ignored him and kept going, his rudeness and attitude are not my concern. In fact they are beneath me to address.

But whatever the reason for his cowardly attack on the Eastlake’s lady, the Eastern Suburb’s thug is now wanted for manslaughter. He may have thought that adults can’t touch him, the law is on his side and if anyone raises their voice let alone a hand he will ‘own them’. True. To a point. But he passed that point when the lady died. Went well past it.

Our Senior Citizens are National Treasures. They are insulted every fortnight by the paltry pension our Prime Minister, earning $350,000 per year, thinks is sufficient for them to scrape by on. The miniscule repayment for a lifetime of work and taxes is agreed upon by other MPs, none of whom takes home less than $150,000 a year. It is a travesty and a slap in the face to every citizen because one day we too shall grow old.

Just because we age doesn’t mean we become timid, weak little creatures cowering in our bedsits and waiting for the big day to finally come around. One’s spirit doesn’t have to grow old and tired. My 77 year old Dad, a veteran of the Malayan Emergency and a man who served his country for 27 years recently defended our family dog when it was brutally set upon by two larger bull terriers. He broke his walking stick over the back of one and kicked the shine off his shoes on the other, all the time thinking his heart would explode. Fortunately the dogs didn’t turn on him but were finally brought under control when their low-brow owner came on the scene. Too many gutless thick heads feel if they have a tough dog it, makes them tough. No, it just makes them owners of a dog with a reputation.

ANZAC Day, 2009. Father and Son

Dad would rather go down fighting than roll over and give up. Perhaps not the wisest course of action but as a brave Spanish lady once said, “it’s better to die on your feet than to live on your knees”. That was one reason my mother, when she was 18, fled East Germany. She escaped by running through minefields, being chased by guard dogs, shot at from machine gun towers and finally swimming the freezing cold Elbe River in February, 1956. Spirit such as this does not easily acquiesce to the demands of the dross of our society. Should they?

Even on the remote Isle of Pines my switched on mother keeps her hand on her purse.

Should they give in and hope they will be left in peace or should they stand up for themselves and take their chances? It is easy to be wise after the event, afterall hindsight is both 20/20 and an exact science. But there is no guarantee the dross will leave them alone if they cower and back off. In fact the odds are in their favour if they stand their ground. Most dross are bullys and all bullys are cowards. Stand up to them and they will most likely back down. Like everything in life, you take your chances and they are always never better than 50/50. Either you will or you won’t.

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