Whenever violence erupts in public, tragedy hovers nearby — watching, waiting. Perhaps the drunken punch-up will lead to little more than a bloody lip and a bruised ego. Or perhaps someone will have their life altered or snuffed out in an incident that changes the trajectory of an entire family. One punch can be fatal — we have seen it so many times. There is a phase, as ugly as it is to admit, in the lives of some young people when such violence can seem attractive. It can seem courageous, a way to earn respect as someone who knows how to handle themselves and doesn’t back down. But then you grow up and you cringe at the way you used to think when you were an angst-filled hormonal teenager. You take the higher road of non-violence. The brawl that spilled on to Stirling Terrace in the early hours of July 18 was disgraceful and inexcusable. By no stretch of the imagination is it the only violence that has occurred in the CBD in recent months. But it is the worst. This went far beyond a drunken punch-up, ending with two men seriously injured. The level of violence and the weapons found on the street mean there are likely more criminal charges to come. But beyond the medical and legal fallout, the community must reject such behaviour. Whether it is a drunken scuffle or an all-in brawl, there are enough challenges to deal with in life without senseless fighting on our streets. At some point it boils down to this: it’s time to grow up.