DON’T FIGHT FIRE WITH FIRE UNLESS IT’S FIRE

The only time fighting “fire with fire” works is when it really is a fire.  In this context, a controlled fire is used to burn the surface of an area so that by the time an out of control fire reaches the pre-burned area there is nothing to catch fire to therefore the out of control fire burns out for lack of fuel.  The lack of fuel is the key reason the technique works.  I’ve thought and thought to come up with one single example outside of fire-fighting where this strategy works to extinguish the targeted problem.  I can’t come up with anything other than actual fire.  In all other scenarios, “fighting fire with fire” only increases the fuel and escalates the problem.  Fighting hate with hate produces more hate.  Violence begets more violence.  Disrespect begets more disrespect.  We don’t eat more to fight our out of control eating habits.  We don’t spend more money to address our budgeting problems.  We don’t throw dirt to clean something.  We don’t fight prejudice with prejudice.  We don’t fight stereotypes by stereotyping.  We don’t fight discrimination by discriminating.  We don’t fight abuse with abuse.  If anyone can provide actual real-life examples of how fighting something with the same thing has actually worked to extinguish the behavior targeted please let us all know.  The closest I could come up with was standing up to a bully but not by bullying the bully.  If we bully a bully that person may leave us alone but their bullying behavior overall will increase only another person will be targeted.  These are just my thoughts and I could be wrong (I often am).

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