I fight because my mother was a fighter. Because she taught us strength, self-reliance, and that you should use those things to help those less fortunate.
Playground stories about standing up to bullies as a little girl left their mark on me and every day, when I see the bullies of the world try to hurt those who have less, I know that the sensible thing to do is to calmly explain why what they’re doing is wrong but my gut tells me to twist their arm behind their back until they cry or put a fist into their diaphragm so they can’t breathe.
I say all of this as someone who hasn’t thrown a punch since my own, personal bully hit me from behind while I was changing out of my gym shorts in the seventh grade locker room. I am not drawn to violence, but I will push back with every bit of my strength.
When I’m not careful, it can dip into a martyr complex or being a bit of a White Savior, but I do my best to surround myself with people who will tell me when I’m wrong and then I listen to them. At my best, it’s to stand up for those I love. At my worst, it’s to purge my rage at the injustices of the world.
But I fight because I’m my mother’s son. And my mother couldn’t abide a bully.