As many of you know, when I can, I enjoy posting stories about the men and women in society who stand up to the predators of the world. Even better, I enjoy it when the person in question isn't trained...when they use their will, indignation, and primal instincts to stand up and fight.
Unfortunately, there's another side to this, one which very few instructors ever address. While there are things worth fighting and dying for, there are some that might not be.
This Starbucks customer died for a tip jar.
I'm going to ignore the lawsuit because a) I'm not a lawyer, and not really educated on the subject and b) my concern is less about the lawsuit, and more about the actions of the customer.
First of all, let me say that what this man tried to do was noble. He saw a thief, and he took action to try and stop him. I cannot and do not fault the man for his instincts. And yes, had the man succeeded, I would certainly have praised him for his actions. I might still, however, have asked the same question.
Is a coffee shop tip jar worth risking your life over?
This is, for the record, a sincere question. Some people (perhaps even the gentleman in the article) might say “yes.” If you are one of those people, then this article will inspire you, or at the very least, make you wonder why I am bothering to write about this at all.
If you are not one of those people, then the question arises, what could this man have done that might have saved his life?
Obviously, he could have said nothing at all, but that’s hardly satisfying. This man wanted to stand up to a criminal, and in that, I believe he was right.
He could have simply screamed “stop, thief” or something similar.
He could have called the police. He could have followed the thief out of the store, and gotten his license plate number.
If nothing else, he could have left an extra large tip.
Without knowing anything about the customer, it is difficult to judge how he made his decisions. Presumably, he believed he was capable of stopping the thief without being injured. It was an admirable impulse, but ultimately, perhaps not a well-thought out one.
As important as it is to have physical skills, it’s equally important to know when (and when NOT) to use them.
What would you fight for? Die for?