Steven G. Percifield--author

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Steven G. Percifield  Author and consultant
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Dilemma

You: You're a 46 year old male. 6'-2", 193 lbs., living on the south end of the Gold Coast in Chicago. You regularly work out and pack the muscle to show it. For the last three decades, you have trained and competed in mixed martial arts and are widely respected, feared or welcomed as an ally depending upon the situation at hand. Nevertheless, you are getting rather long in the tooth and each fight requires a longer time to recover and the pain lingers longer.

The  antagonist: He is a few years younger and is well known in the neighborhood. He's associated with a gang that is feared, although his standing with that gang is subject to debate. He talks tough but in a one-on-one confrontation you would have no problem kicking his butt.

The situation: It's a late summer evening, long after sunset. Rather than going to bed, you decide to take a stroll. Around the block from your condominium you encounter a friend, also out for a stroll. You hear a scream. The both of you jog in the direction from which it came. You look down a dark shadowed gangway separating a couple of structures. Looking into the dark, you faintly make out what appears to be the antagonist. He appears to be kicking at something on the ground. Focusing in the faint light, you discern what appears to be either a small old lady or a female child--in either case, the apparent victim is small and female--at his feet, writhing in pain. The antagonist appears to be holding a purse or handbag.

You start to rush into the gangway but your friend stays in place. "I'm not going in there," he says. "It's dark. You don't know what you're getting into."

The scream has alerted some of your other neighbors who have now gathered on the opposite side of the street. Don't go in there one shouts. It's none of your business another screams. Who gives you the moral authority to kick his ass another yells.

The possible solutions (please check one):

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You charge in, break the antagonist's nose (or worse) and help the victim up
You stay where you're at and hope the antagonist's leg gets tired before he kills the victim
You heed the advice of your friend and just stand there
You recognize the limitations of your moral authority and just go home

And that, my friends, is the dilemma facing the President.