I used to have a bad horse, ready to kick me in the face at any time. Dad taught me to step forward, not be afraid, and shout it out loudly.

I grew up on a farm with many horses, each weighing an average of 900 kg. Horses, like a human being or a community of people, have different and distinct personalities. With a giant ferocious horse, controlling it is very difficult, especially when I was only 10 years old, weighing less than 30 kg including boots.

"Jake! Stand in position" - I did as he was told, shouting at the horse. Now that I think back to the memory of a little boy ordering a big horse, I thought the other horses in the barn were looking at each other and smiling. "Alright, baby," Jake's horse must have thought.

Dad taught a lot of lessons, but it was only now that I understood what they meant. He often spent his time at the bedside, reading stories to me before going to bed. Fables about the ferocious dragon that slaughtered villagers.

At that time I also had my dragon. He is a classmate named Doug, a legal body, who bullies me. I was scared of him because I woke up every morning when I woke up, I was afraid to go to school, and I met everyone who asked me how to get rid of that guy. My mother, a devout and pacifist woman, said, "Try to talk to each other." As a result, I was even laughed at and hit him more. Mom talks to Doug's mom. It didn't work either, I still got hit by it.

Father heard the story, he patted his shoulder to tell about his dragon. Richard used to bully his father and Tony. The two of them were scared, each time they finished school, they would run fast. Grandpa said, next time if Richard does, the two of us have to respond. Richard was quite surprised when Dad and Tony didn't run away anymore and counterattacked, since then it didn't dare to touch Dad anymore. The situation is like the story of a father who tells a story of the people of a village, standing together against the dragon with their strength of unity.

It is good to be patient in many cases, but there are times when a mother's humility is not usable. Centuries ago, the Maori tribe near the island of New Zealand emerged with a bloody, bloody warrior culture. The Moriori tribe in the battle, instead of fiercely fighting back, waved the peace flag, wanted to be friends and ready to dedicate a part of the resources to Maori. In the end, all of the Moriori were destroyed.

The Maori tribe, despite being a fierce dragon, bullied Moriori, but upon meeting the mighty Hero, had to change and adapt. The Maori chose to stand in the middle of confrontation and pacifism, making the opponent be wary by the authority soaked in the blood of each warrior. So that Maori can cooperate and have a peaceful life with the British.

Such fables are everywhere. France had to change its way of living with the world after the famous battle of Dien Bien Phu in Northern Vietnam. Japan had to change its attitude to the world after meeting the Allies in 1945. They were all forced to adapt, choosing the path in between.

Each of us can't always hide from the belligerent and bully dragon like the Moriori. So how to face your dragon here? Of course I'm not going to look for it but for the time being, train your inner strength as best you can. I have to prepare for the day it comes to find me. In fact, the dragon is not as strong as it thinks it is. It was like a palace made of paper without a storm. Bullies are really weak.

My girlfriend learns martial arts. Recently, many people told me: "Women should not learn martial arts, only suffer from husbands"; "They will hit other women." No, students are taught that violence is never the first option to solve a problem. We only use it when there is no other way. But the power gained from the ability to protect themselves allows us to live freely, giving us the power against evil dragons when it comes.

Sometimes, I see some Vietnamese knights stop to catch a bandit or stop a crime. Alone alone is very dangerous for them if there are not many people involved in helping. Most of us still keep the mindset: it's not my problem that I don't interfere. But that is your problem. That is the premise of corruption, passive and recession of a society.

Imagine dragons threatening you and everyone. You cannot go outside and face it, nor can you run away from it. You need to prepare.

Jesse Peterson
(Originally in Vietnamese)