Excellent post, Van. The older I get, I less I care about winning. "The Winning at all cost" mentally is doing more harm than good in the general society.
Hope you don't mind that I copy/paste some of HH's quotes that I really like:
To a police officer winning usually means arresting the suspect, or at times, just staying alive. To a citizen it usually means escaping a crime or escaping injury, or possibly confining a criminal until the authorities arrive.. To a common citizen, escaping a parking lot crime unscathed is win-win.
Discretion is the better part of valor. Have you heard this line before? This idiom officially means that it is often better to think carefully and not act than to do something that may cause problems.
for citizens in modern times and civilizations, your willingness to fight, no matter how righteous and defensive your actions might be, may often end with you going to jail, with considerable legal fees and maybe with some added doctor's bills to boot. You may well be vindicated later, but at a physical, emotional and monetary loss.
From Seizan's post
It is not so important to 'win' as it is to 'not lose'.
I remember a sparring competition of one of my students in a karate tournament years ago. The mother of my student's opponent was screaming like mad at her son: "Kill him! Kill him!". For ch#*st sake, those were 13 year old kids. If that is what they teach their kids no wonder our society has gotten to this point. Hate to see those people after a NFL game.
As to "Discretion is the better part of valor", I remember about 35 years ago I ran away during an obvious robbery attempt. I felt like a coward for about 20 years after that. I was in San Francisco for a job interview and walking near my 5-star hotel (paid by the company otherwise a 2-star at best at that time when I was a struggling engineer), it was late evening and all of a sudden a car pull up across from me. The car was full of people. Soon as the car stopped a big fat ugly woman swung her door open and charged toward me. I turned around and ran into the hotel. I kicked my ar@e for years for not knocking that fat slob on her face before running away but, later on, and based on some of the wiser advices such as that in HH's write-ups, that was a good decision and I convinced myself that I was not being a coward.
One thing I did learn from that incident though. Turning around and run away will make your heart beat faster and make you feel more frightened than you actually are. Therefore may reduce your ability to defenses yourself if necessary. May be one thing to remind yourself if you do turn around and run is, you are not running because you are scared. You are running because that is the best decision at the time. So beware.