The Necessity of Maladjustment

January 14, 2013 by Bill Ivey

My shoulder grew progressively numb as my friend, convinced that everyone who claimed to be a pacifist had a breaking point, kept hitting it over and over. His face began to contort, and through gritted teeth he hissed, "I'm going to make you hit me." But I didn't hit back, and eventually he walked away in disgust. I've always wondered what he took away from the incident. Me, I took pride in having successfully maintained my principles of non-violence, though as it turned out I couldn't have moved my arm if I had wanted, and it hung uselessly at my side for at least five minutes as I walked to my next class and took my seat.

Filed Under: Teaching, tragedy, On Education, Bill Ivey, On Parenting, discrimination, sandy hook, Stoneleigh-Burnham Middle School, violence, joan baez, racism, Martin Luther King Day, peace