I had a brief career with the Rimbey Boxing Club a few years ago. With the coaching from Rodney and Darcy Hollingsworth, and Mike Smith, I managed to secure four wins over four competitive boxing bouts. Three wins were from TKO referee stoppages and the fourth was a split decision win after three full rounds. My wins are subject to the most valuable piece of boxing philosophy I learned within the club and still carry around in day to day life – go down swinging.
Each amateur competitive bout I engaged in wasn’t easy. All the training and dieting that was governed by the coaches, as well as the self-discipline I learned, led me to my victories. In every round and after every hit to the head I did my absolute best to keep my eyes up – this was especially true when I thought I down in points. I knew to never give up during a match and my success was rewarded when my glove was hoisted into the air in triumph by the ref.
The push ups, the skipping and the sparring have become a memory of my previous toned and sculpted self. I’m onto to different challenges now and I feel I have boxed through enough hits to the head. I still occasionally catch myself shadow boxing in my kitchen, but I don’t have any intentions of training as a boxer again.
The phrase assisted suicide carries with it a lot of psychological weight. And the shear notion that its ban has been lifted by the Canadian government contradicts my revered personal philosophy to go down swinging. Tough scenarios get danced around like a weak opponent, but we ourselves look like the fool when caught in the ropes of indecision.
I had the opportunity to attend a Conversation on Mind: Death and Dying, on March 12, 2015. It was a presentation supported by the Red Deer College’s Psychology Society at the Margret Parson’s Theatre. The panel of professors included two philosophers, and a psychologist. Among the many important aspects of the discussion, assisted suicide emerged from the shadows. I’ve learned that even those who have the prefix “Dr.” in front of their name find it a difficult topic to navigate.
The Keystone XL Pipeline and the U.S. president Barack Obama seem to be more deliberated upon in the Canadian journals rather than a phrase like assisted suicide. A lot of the definitions associated with the seriousness of assisted suicide need to be crafted with diamond cut accuracy. There are many questions that have yet to be answered. At what ages do we give Canadians the ability to consider this amenity? Can an adolescent suffering from an irremediable and excruciating cancer have the decision to ends his or her life?
Our diffusion of attention onto more material matters can be disconcerting, but I’ve already long since decided my stance before I realized a phrase like assisted suicide could exist. I’m going to go down swinging. I’m a young man and I can accept that the psychology and philosophy on serious matters can change; irremediable and excruciating medical situations can alter a person’s perception of the situation. But during the present I can attest to standing tall upon the canvas and will do my absolute best to keep my head up. The ref will not always raise my fist in victory, but I’ll ensure to frighten any alignment with resilience and not to be caught trembling in fear.
The conversation has just begun. We all need to stay open and strong when our friends and family members are faced with difficult opponents.