Most people fear humiliation right? Like that's a statement we can agree on? It seems like some people embrace these experiences with humility and actually turn the event into a positive experience. We all have heard the saying "be the bigger man". Isn't the "bigger man" always the humble one in the situation? The guy who can laugh off personal insults. The "smaller man" is the guy who reacts to every slight right? Napoleon Complex I think it's called.
This in my opinion is a defining characteristic in most people. Almost no one is all one or the other so I think we all struggle in some situations to not take things personally and remember to be humble. I do think I have known a couple people who seemed incapable of ever being the "bigger man". Not many but a few. I assume that means we all have crossed paths with these guys in life.
The "bigger man"s behavior seems rooted in confidence. He accepts events humbly when the "small man" rejects or refuses to acknowledge a situation. What the "bigger man" accepts as humbling, the "smaller man" rejects as humiliating. The same situation can elicit two different responses from different people.
Humiliation has got to be the most feared of human conditions. The "bigger man" develops a coping mechanism to process the situation, where as the "smaller man" with less coping skills, feels humiliated and gets defensive. This makes it difficult for the "smaller man" to learn and grow because it makes introspection difficult. Confidence leads to introspection, and allows self criticism which leads to personal growth. In a few of the worst cases, all this is lacking in the "smaller man".
Take these two types of people and put them in various scenarios and you can immediately see the difference. Consider road rage. The "bigger man" accepts the insult being hurled at him and casually goes about his business but the "smaller man" never fails to engage the other driver, always escalating the situation. When you have two "smaller men" engaging each other, it can get out of control right?
"Bigger men" are always the one most likely to de-escalate a situation. People with the "bigger man" trait are what you want in law enforcement for instance. The "smaller man" as a cop is a nightmare.
Take any confrontation with a "smaller man" whose greatest fear is humiliation. To get to the point of this give this "smaller man " access to a hand gun. This is the worst case scenario. In the hand of one of these guys, a gun becomes the ultimate defense against self doubt.
A "bigger man" deals with these doubts like they deal with everything, with confidence and introspection. The "small man" has a much smaller tool box. A "small man" equals a small tool box, but don't tell them that or they will get defensive and start bragging about how big their toolbox really is?! It's fucking embarrassing.
Take a "small man", with the need to be seen as a hero, give him a hand gun, and presto you have someone like George Zimmerman confronting a 17 year old kid like Trayvon Martin, and we know how this ends.
When I was in Stewart Ohio I got confronted in an attempt to provoke a reaction by someone who was exhibiting some of these "Zimmerman" characteristics. Unlike a 17 year old kid, I responded like a confident person with nothing to prove. That may have saved my life. Who knows if the guy trying to provoke me has a "bigger man" mentality but given the fact he was channeling "Dirty Harry" I doubt it. Go ahead punk! Make my day..
Do you want to assume a person approaching a stranger with that attitude can handle being told to appropriately "go fuck himself?" I don't think George Zimmerman could handle it and I'm pretty sure "Dirty Harry" couldn't handle it either. No one should ever be afraid to tell someone to mind there own business or even go fuck themselves... I'm sorry if this is too liberal of a position for you.
What got Trayvon murdered was one of these "smaller men" with a handgun. You listen to the 911 call made by Zimmerman. That operator knew the possibilities but Zimmerman didn't hear what she was clearly saying. "Do not approach him!" Like a chess master the operator was seeing 8 moves ahead but Zimmerman was playing one move at a time like a "smaller man".
If we could disarm these "smaller men" the world would be safer. A simple question like, "Can you be verbally provoked into shooting someone" would immediately separate the two groups. Or at least it might make them reconsider joining the Home Guard. Remember "Return to Cold Mountain"? They shot the banjo player!
People who are pro-gun seem to always side with the gun owner in any situation. Only when it's a mass shooter and it is impossible to debate the circumstances do pro-gun people seem to relinquish their position. I'm guessing it's because they don't see these two different personalities so clearly in the people around them.
If they would only acknowledge in the crowd around them the "smaller man" makes every situation more dangerous and the "bigger man" always makes a situation safer. If we could get pro-gun guys to see this blatant difference in people, there might be a common ground. It wouldn't have to be a Republican vs Democrat shitfest, it might literally be a discussion about "people emotionally mature enough for guns" and all the other fuckheads. That's my pro-gun platform. Wont you join me?
I grew up with a gunsmith as a father. I fired more guns before 15 than most people fire their whole lives. I fired a 500 Weatherby Magnum at 14. The barrel wasn't blued and it didn't have sights because Dad hadn't got that far. I'm also obsessed with introspection and understanding the human condition. To assume I am anti-gun is just an ignorant assumption based on conditioned responses. I absolutely detest small minded people. I detest that characteristic in myself most of all.
As long as the "bigger men" fail to acknowledge they are sometimes surrounded by, siding with and even sometimes misled by "smaller men" there will never be anything but manipulation. America desperately needs "bigger men" of this country to unite together in confidence in the way that only they can. It's always the "smaller man" who actively keeps the people separated.