Changing the narrative...

A recent event has had me reflecting and wondering if it all could have played out any differently — alas, I think I simply had no choice but to change the narrative, and I suppose I had to do it in a dramatic way.


Have you ever come around the corner to find yourself faced with "mischief" that suddenly increases your immediate possibilities exponentially? That literally happened to me as I rounded the bend with my pizza dinner in hand. This particular "mischief"  came in the form of three people, who moments before I passed them, had thrown something at a passing taxi. The taunts for pizza soon followed, and shortly after that the stomping of feet as if they were chasing me — an annoying but harmless narrative.

That was until one of them ran up behind me and jumped in front of me screaming. I then added my own narrative — and punched him in the head.

It was more of a symbolic punch because I had two work-bags over my shoulder and a pizza in one hand. Looking shocked he then screamed, "You hit me". After an exchange of bad punches and the death of my pizza, a Samaritan arrived and deescalated the situation. After some shouting I headed home with the proposition of having to make dinner.

I can still hear one of them saying, "We were just trying to scare him".

I will admit this post is somewhat cathartic but there is another important consideration aside from describing a very poor street fight.  As pointed out, their narrative was to cause "mischief" and "scare" people, and that narrative was only going to change if something happened that did not align (or feed) their story (and shift the paradigm). The narrative shifted from hassling a guy with a pizza to dealing with a poor street fight (and how to get out of it). The Samaritan offered that opportunity (with little resistance), and gave us a new narrative to continue the day.

All of this became a reminder that there are times that if you want to change a narrative, you really have to change the narrative... and sometimes pizzas do get hurt.


PS — I'm not advocating violence, but it's never a good idea to attack someone from behind.