Being tough, of course, has never had that much to do with winning fights, and a lot to do with losing them. Toughness is a great democratizing force; anyone can access it, provided you understand that it's much less a function of strength or victory and much more a function of endurance and defeat, of survival, physical and emotional.
Getting punched in the face sucks. It's getting punched in the face! And yet the first time you get punched in the face, I mean really punched in the face, by someone outside your family or friends, someone who doesn't care for you and is out to hurt you-- it can almost be a blessing. A blessing, because afterwards, you know what it's like. Before, you walk around with the worry of not knowing what it's like, and that compounds it. Afterwards, you know. It makes it easier.
I prize gentleness and always will. Fighting or anything to do with it certainly has no impact on the way that I confer respect on the people around me. I hate fighting, and I find real gentleness to be a rare and valuable commodity. Someone who really understands the nature of loss, I think, isn't someone who could start a fight frivolously, or imagine that doing so is a mark of manhood. I've never started a fight, and I hope I never do. I do think, though, that there's something to be said for toughness, for endurance. For some people, it's good to know what it's like to fight, and maybe more, to fight and lose. To fight, and lose, and to know you've lost, and to know other people have seen you lose. That's an education. You can look back on it, even years later, and know that you can go through it all again, if you had to. And that's where toughness comes from. And sometimes that toughness helps you win the fight.
OK, enough drunk blogging for me. Might burn down my credibility! Sleep tight.