Would the world be a better place if each person in the world had a no retaliation allowed, one free punch per year?

Would the world be a better place if each person in the world had a no retaliation allowed, one free punch per year? –@icekevin

Haha, I know what you mean. What you are really asking is: if everyone was slightly afraid that they would be a recipient of that no-retaliation one punch per year then perhaps people might behave better to each other.

The other day I was in Grand Central Gourmet. At rush hour when everyone is trying to buy some last minute food before catching their trains, I accidentally bumped into an older woman (in her 70s or 80s). Just brushed against her. She shoved me so hard I fell to the floor and dropped my own bag of food.

Should I have punched her? Would that have made the world a better place? Maybe she was a survivor of concentration camps? Maybe her father beat her so now she felt comfortable the rest of her life beating others. Maybe her son or daughter had died an early death. I have no idea what was going on in her life really.

Why then, punch her? Even if I could. Would that make the world a better place if that was my once a year no-retaliation punch?

No.

Instead she became my greatest teacher that day. A day where I had already met many fascinating other teachers. I had to quickly pick myself up, pick my food up, get on my train, and not let my mind be crowded with thoughts of anger for her.

That’s pretty hard! I dare you to try it. That’s much harder than punching her. I couldn’t stop wondering, “why did she shove me so violently? Who would do that?” Heck, I’m still thinking of it.

But eventually the thoughts did simmer down. And on the train ride back I was able to enjoy a book. And I was happy when I got home and was able to see the Hudson River from my house, and the leaves on the trees turning all sorts of colors. I was able to log onto my computer and answer emails. I was able to come up with ideas. I was able to enjoy dinner. I was able to write a post.

I was able to save the world. No punching.

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