THE PEN MACHETE OR THE MUSKET

Peter Adamis Abalinx 29 April 2017

It is now some 46 years that I have carried the same machete around with me and during that time I learnt that with wisdom to put aside the anger of the machete and replace it with the pen. Most of my demon anger built up over many years was exorcized by the many years of voluntary companion visits to psychologist and psychiatrist. A copy of the article may be downloaded by clicking on: THE PEN MACHETE OR THE MUSKET

These visits were triggered after years of bullying by an employer who thought that because they had the resources, they could intimidate employees, threaten them, assault them, tear their vehicle tyres, abuse them and make death threats. The legal firm as far as I am concerned was in collusion with the employer.  I base that information on the relationship the legal firm had with the Board responsible for the governance of the organisation.

Although my anger was controlled as a result of years of military training, management and experience, only the psychologist and the psychiatrist were able to unravel my myriad of accumulated unresolved issues of anger. I must confess that at one stage the psychologist had to leave the room after witnessing a burst of my anger that resided within me.  He wanted to know how I felt and what was the anger churning within me. Suffice to say, I toned down my inner feelings and again reverted to my military training and controlled my anger. Still the eight years of consultative and voluntary visits to the psychologist and psychiatrist paid off and I returned to the pen instead of the machete.

With the recent passing of the old man, I almost reverted back to an anger of the past in wanting to hit out at others as the wrongs done against my father even by close relatives and alleged close friends of Dad. Some say that envy in a simple village setting is enough fuel to start a fire and if that fire is not controlled, mayhem and chaos can be the end result with relationships being broken for years to come and bitterness being the residue that eventually will turn cancerous as it eats away at the sinews of a person’s body, slowly draining their strength from the hate, jealousy and envy.

I must admit there is much in the wisdom of my mother who advised me to put aside my anger, hurt feelings, perceived wrong doings done against my father by relatives and to be on good terms with everyone.  It is a bit hard to swallow when one is aware of the transgressions the great uncles of the past did to my grandfather and also robbed him of his hard earned wealth. But what can one do but to bide ones time and allow the ravages of life to take their toll. I wonder just how a village like Pellana ever overcame its deep distrust of ones neighbour given that it was steeped in the struggle for freedom by two opposing sides.

A village torn apart by intense hatreds, envy, jealousy, status, and egos. But my parents somehow overcome their ideological differences whether they agreed or not and fell in love with one another.  As for me, my machete has been a constant companion throughout the past 46 years alongside the pen and I am of the belief that the two go hand in hand. One for expression and the other for aggression. In 1998 when my sons and I moved into our current home, three youth attacked my two youngest sons. They came and told me that three youths were outside intimidating them.

Without a second thought in my head, I picked up whatever I could in my hand which just happened to be the machete that was lying on the bench which was used to prune the trees and I rushed to confront the three youths. My thoughts were to save my sons and did not take in account that I could be in more trouble had the machete being used. I will confess that the butt of the machete was used against the three youths, an action which alarmed my sons who then dragged me away from doing any serious damage.  The three youths ran away and I immediately rang the local Police. 

I briefed my sons that only in self-defence could such action be taken and even then reasonable force should be used.  I must admit that it was fear that my sons lives were at stake that drove me to such action. When the Police arrived, I explained to them the situation that I had assaulted the three youths and why, omitting the use of the machete.  The Police in their wisdom advised me that no further action would be taken unless they received a complaint. The very next day, I find that my name is synonymous with crazy and that I was to be avoided at all costs. That title of a crazy old man suited me just fine and since then I was left in peace.  On reflection, I wondered whether I could have handled the situation better but given the circumstances I am of the belief that I would have done the same thing again.  Man should be able to defend himself and his property using such force as necessary to ensure the lives of the people under their care is not at jeopardy.

On another occasion while posted to Perth, West Australia between late 1981 and 1983, attempts to break into the family home were met by me with almost a deadly reaction that could have caused the death of another trying to rob the home while we were asleep. This time noises were heard and I woke up listening to someone trying to break in. We lived on the outskirts of Perth at an area inhabited by military personnel, the name of the suburb was called Balga just before Wanneroo. This time I had in my possession a loaded small calibre rifle and if need be to be used against the potential assailant.  On this occasion, although I silently made my way around the home, I made it clear to the potential thief that I was armed and that I intended to use it to defend the family.  The language I used is not for the consumption of the readers but those who know me are aware that I have a plethora of swear words and profanities that would have suited the occasion.  On this occasion the intruder fled and I remained awake until all of the family woke up the next morning.

Here in Greece some 150 years ago, lawlessness was the go and it was each man for himself to ensure that the safety of the family was ensured by the manner in which the buildings were built. You can still see remnants of that past when you visit villages and see tiny windows or portholes that have been bricked up or cemented in. These portholes were used in the same manner in which medieval castles had to allow the bowmen to let fly their arrows.

In the case of Pellana and other like villages, the long musket was the norm was used with deadly effect. In fact it was not unknown for the women folk to be crack shots in those days as each member of the family was required to do their bit.  Feuds were also common place and many an individual would lose his life to such deadly encounters. Many of which have been attributed to duels, foul play and tom foolery.

The law in those days was difficult to enforce as roads were merely tracks used by donkeys, cattle and other livestock in the absence of modern machinery. I am also reminded of a father who sat watch at night at the Palio-kastro (Old Castle) which is reputedly the ancient palace of Menelaus the Master of the war cry and his lovely wife Hellen of Homeric Troy. This father who will remain nameless as he has living relatives would stay on guard at the Palio kastro looking down on his small home below watching and waiting in the event others came along and forced their way into the home and took over the residence. That father like many others had no hesitation in defending his domain and as we all know back home in Australia that a man’s castle is home and will defend it to the hilt. No pen would have been as effective as the musket at that time, which leads me to come to the conclusion that the pen, the machete, and the musket must go hand in hand using such reasonable force to defence what is a person’s life, family and property.

If asked what I would take to preserve life and property, the answer is simple. Use reasonable force equal to the violent actions being taken against you in order to ensure ones safety. Here in the village of Pellana, I am quite prepared to be jailed if it means preserving my life against an intruder intent on causing me harm and deadly injury, no matter what the environment or scenario may be. Even if hunger was an issue, begging or asking for food in order to survive will be met with compassion and not with hostility, but having said that, here in the Northern villages of Lakonia, famine and starvation are not the core issues. The core issues is that the quality of life is rapidly diminishing and people are crying out for les taxes and financial burdens being placed upon them. I would emulate my father and his father before him and give a needy person the shirt off my back. Not only is it the right thing to do it is the Greek and the Australian way of looking after the battler.

2015 and 2016 for me were years of reflection, treatment and recovery. Not to dwell on what could have been but to ensure that whatever time we have left is not squander in futile objectives that lead to nowhere. I intend to make life more meaningful and worthwhile, worthy of those who had a hand in making me who I am today.   Life as we know it can only be sustained by vigilance and with that vigilance comes responsibility. Let us hope that 2017 is a good one.

Peter Adamis is a Journalist/Social Media Commentator and writer. He is a retired Australian military serviceman and an Industry organisational & Occupational (OHS) & Training Consultant whose interests are within the parameters of domestic and international political spectrum.  He is an avid blogger and contributes to domestic and international community news media outlets as well as to local and Ethnic News.  He holds a Bachelor   of Adult Learning & Development (Monash), Grad Dip Occupational Health & Safety, (Monash), Dip. Training & Assessment, Dip Public Administration, and Dip Frontline Management. Website: abalinx.com Contact via Email: abalinx@gmail.com or via Mobile: 0409965538

 

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