I was watching a documentary about boxing last night.
Boxing is based on four major assumptions that have stood it in good stead as a popular sport in America—until its relatively recent dethroning by MMA.
The first assumption is that all good boxers come from backgrounds of poverty, violence and crime, and that they work their way out of those situations through force of will.
The second assumption is that the audience is electrified by the external fight against the opponent in the ring; whereas each individual boxer is in the ring to see if he can “go the distance” and win the internal fight.
The third assumption is that the business that supports the boxers and the economic system built around the fighter who is taking all the risk, is an inherently corrupt and unethical system, built on deceit, lies, and greed.
The last assumption is that boxers are going to get injured (concussions, Alzheimer’s, broken bones, etc.) because the inherent nature of the sport is brutality for the sake of spectacle.
The boxers featured in the documentary, from Evander Holyfield to Bernard Hopkins, all lived out either some or all of these assumptions in one way or the other and became changed by all of them. And it got me thinking:
- What assumptions am I operating under?
- What fights are the audience watching me “win” publicly, when the greatest battles are the ones that they don’t ever see?
- What words were spoken over my life when I was a child by my parents, the neighborhood, the friends I had, that influenced me to get to where I am today?
- What is the economic system that supports (or hinders) the business that I’m in of making peace?
- What am I risking (physically, financially, emotionally, psychologically, spiritually, etc.) in order to “go the distance” and can I do it, or will I declare, just before I would’ve won the fight “no mas”?
There’s no “Old-Timers” Day at the retirement home for boxers. Many end up broken—physically, financially, and spiritually—but for those individual men, fighting was the only way out of death.
-Peace Be With You All-
Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: firstname.lastname@example.org