Sunday, January 24, 2016
Become a peace "enforcer"
I had a dream last night. I went down to the kitchen in my childhood home. On the table there was a Chicago Sun-Times newspaper, and on the cover a big photo of a Chicago Blackhawks hockey player breaking up a fight. The headline read:
HOCKEY SUPERSTAR ENFORCER BREAKS UP A FIGHT
I grew up playing hockey. I even played on a intramural team in college. So from experience I can tell you that hockey is a really fun game.
But at the pro level, the NHL, the National Hockey League, teams have a player, or two or three, designated as an "enforcer." Enforcers are on the team only for one reason—to fight. I've been at NHL games where the crowd chants for the team's enforcer to fight one of the opposing players. And they do! With no instigation either!
Fights break out all over, not just in hockey games. Physical fights, yes, but also mental fights and emotional fights. And there are "enforcers" out there in the world off the ice rink too. Maybe a sarcastic boss, or a troll on the Internet.
The default response is to just watch the fight and think isn't that terrible? But what if we were all 'peace enforcers' and sucked it up and broke up the fights? And that's the thing—peace enforcers aren't pacifists. They're getting right in there, fighting if need be, to break things up. It takes guts to be a peace enforcer.
People like to fight, though, and they like to watch fights, so to be a peace enforcer would not be a popular role to play. But you know what? It would be one hell of a popular role to the person getting beat up.
And in my dream the peace enforcer was a hero, a superstar. And if you're a peace enforcer in real life, you're a real life hero and a real life superstar.