Walk away

Hey fella, I know you don't wanna hear this from some bloke who's old enough to be your (very well-preserved) father but if you'll just give me a minute ...

I know the grub called your girlfriend a bad name or questioned which orifice and gender you enjoy sex with but, you know what? He wants a reaction, just like you did when you rained crap down on your sister or cousin or that wendell who lived up the road.

So think about it: why would you give someone you dislike what they want? It makes no sense.

But, hey, I get it; plenty of people make no sense right now - especially your parents, teachers, bus drivers, cops and girlfriends. So let's not talk sense, let's not talk rationality, let's just discuss reality.

You're loving life at the moment; anything seems possible and we all know how much it sucks when a party gets shut down, someone pulls the plug on the fun and you have to go home.

Imagine that forever.

Guys just like you are having the plug pulled on them every weekend - they're getting stabbed, king hit, OD-ing, mashing themselves in car accidents and also deciding to take their own lives.

This is not a public service announcement - you know what's wrong and right - you know you shouldn't do 160km/h on your Ps in the wet, nor should you shoot up meth or climb drunk to balconies four storeys high in your undies.

But do you also know how savage the consequences can be for following that grub, accepting that invitation to fight?

Spin it out for a second and you'll see there are two very bad scenarios - you end up in hospital, or you end up in jail because he's in hospital.

So what? He threw a bottle at your car? He attacked you? You can't back down? You'll look weak?

I'll tell you what weakness looks like: it's when you go to the funeral of your friend, your beautiful, young, legend of a mate, and you realise he's never gonna get up out of that box.

I've done that - several times now - and, let me tell you, that's what weakness feels like because, no matter what you say or do, you can't change it, ever.

All of us, all my mates felt it; how incredibly sad it was for our friend, his mum, for us.

But you know what?

It gets a little sadder ever year since, knowing just how much good stuff our friend has missed out on; the parties, the surfs, the Origin matches, the girlfriends, the trips away, falling in love, getting really good at your job, having kids and doing Dutch ovens at the traffic lights.

I know we all think it - not every day - but we say it to ourselves; why, why did he have to miss out?

Now think if we or "he", could go back in time and change the moment when his life ended, just by making a different choice? That ain't weakness, that's the ultimate power, the ultimate strength and that's what I'm asking you to do.

Walk away from that grub and his mates. Don't go looking for it. Laugh off the insults. Jump in a cab. Get in your car.

And wake up tomorrow and enjoy your life.

Sam de Brito's latest novel Hello Darkness is in bookstores now. You can follow him on Twitter here. His email address is here.