Are you peaceful or harmless?

I heard a clip where the speaker said, you are not peaceful if you are incapable of inflicting great harm. You are peaceful if you are capable of great harm but choose not to do so, otherwise you are harmless.

I often wonder about which of these applies to me? I know that I am capable of great harm. I have enough skill and power to hurt many people. Yet, I don’t know if I have the heart and willingness to do so. Even when I fought MMA, I lacked the desire to hurt my opponent. Does that make me harmless or peaceful?

I think that anyone can be harmful provided they have the right tools. So how does one actually make this distinction between peaceful and harmless?

For instance, a 12 year old, may be harmless to me in a physical one on one fight, right? I could beat them if challenged under those circumstances. However, there are 12 year old kids out there who have killed people with weapons. So that very same “harmless” 12 year old could actually be harmful to me with a weapon. Therefore, how does one make the distinction between the 12 year old is harmless and peaceful?

I could go on citing examples, but I think I’ve covered the point here. So I’d love to hear some thoughts on this.

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