The Scott Shaw Blog Be Positive

Confrontation in the Rear View

It truly struck me as strange this morning when I headed out on the streets. There was nobody there. The streets were virtually empty. It was kind of like at the beginning of the pandemic when no one was driving anywhere. Very strange and unexpected, especially for a city like L.A.

I did my drive across the city, did what I had to do, and was on my way in the direction of home. I was pulling up to this stop light and out of nowhere this mini van cuts me off and pulls right in front of me just as the light was turning red. I threw my arms up in the air. Plus, they did this for no reason. They had their own lane going straight as they were obviously planning to do. Me, they cut off my right turn and I had to wait for the light to change for them to move forward. Not cool, but whatever…

What happened next is the point to all this… They flipped me off as they drove away. What! I mean, “Fuck you!” You did something wrong, you cut me off, and now you’re flipping me off.

As someone who sometimes suffers from that, “You can take the boy out of the jungle but you can’t take the jungle out of the boy syndrome,” what they did kind of pushed me in the wrong direction. Maybe I was just too hyped after drinking my Starbucks Venti Flat White Latte? I don’t know? But, it’s all kind of how a situation is presented to you, you know. I mean, we all, every now and then, do that stupid thing when we are driving. But, when you do, you give the other driver that wave of, “Sorry,” and move on. But, flip me off. It really hit me the wrong way.

Now, this kind of nonsense goes on all the time. I have watched it throughout my life. Someone is at fault—someone does something wrong or maybe they just want to take control over a situation and attempt to employee some sense of over-empowerment in a nothing situation, so they lash out. But, in few cases people who do that would do what they did to a person’s face. They only flip people off in their rear view mirror. Same with the internet. Everyone OUT THERE is oh so powerful. They can say anything they want from their keyboard but what about face-to-face?

This situation just struck me the wrong way, I rolled down my window and gave them a big, “Fuck you.” Lost in that moment I was hoping that they would say something. But, as could be expected, they did not.

You see, this is where the birth of negative situations takes place. Someone does something unthinking or simply wrong. They do it, they are the one who made a mistake, yet they blame it on the person they presented the mistake to. Things can really escalate out of these moments to something very negative. I have see it many times and have lived it a few.

The good thing, if you want to call it that, is I catch myself in these moments, knowing that whatever would occur would not end to anyone’s true benefit.

You know, in some ways, that’s the problem with being Scott Shaw. …With being someone Almost Famous. Or, maybe better put, someone who used to be Almost Famous… In the Almost Famous position of life, people come at you. They hope to make a name for themselves by doing so. Then, when and if you kick their ass, they call the police with the, “Whoa is me,” defense and they want to sue you. And, the problem with the Almost Famous tag is, you don’t have the people network or the big money of the Truly Famous to back you up. So, it just becomes a stupid street fight all based on someone doing something which was actually meaningless to you.

You know, I remember this one time, I think he was a stalker cause I saw his truck a few times, but, I was driving down the street, (well, actually up a hill), and this guy pulled right up next to me. He had those really dark tinted windows, so I couldn’t really see what he was doing, but I guess he didn’t know that. Every now and then the light would hit just right and he was driving while nonstop flipping me off and he appeared to be screaming at me. Get a life dude, get some control. But, then I turned right, going to my intended location, and he just drove on. I saw him drive by me a week or two later, there he was flipping me off again. Why? I have no idea. I certainly didn’t know him.

And, that’s the thing—that’s the essence of the evolving trend of anger and violence and why stupidly flipping someone off equals nothing good but it can end in something very bad.

For someone like me, who literally fights most everyday, in martial art training, you get a different understanding of person-to-person reality and you see how foolish physical combat can be. Someone wins, someone loses, but who cares?

I see so many martial art instructors making the same training mistake that people from the first generation of American martial arts, like myself, made. They do things like wear weight belts on their ankles when they kick or on their wrists when they punch. They believe that doing this helps to develop strength and power but all it ultimately does is destroy your body. Ask any orthopedist. Ask anyone, like me, who also used to do it. Because ultimately, what is the point of having that super-superior punch or kick? Life and even the martial arts is not a never-ending combat zone. We are not living in a zombie apocalypse. In fact, by studying the martial arts you should gain the understanding that you never need to fight. What the martial arts basically comes down to is an enhanced understanding of physical—person-to-person reality. Can you kick someone’s ass—do you have a better chance of kicking someone’s ass? Sure, maybe. But, so what… If you do, then what? Then you get arrested. Then you get sued.

So, what does this all tell us? It tells us, if someone flips you off—if they flip you off even if they were the one at fault, don’t let them and their actions control your reality because a reality based in anger and violence leads to nothing good. Smile and drive on.