Gaining Yourself by Losing Yourself
When I remember back – way back – to the days I studied Japanese Karate, the Japanese terms still come back to me: Kata, Kumite, Shuto, Hajime, Kibadachi, Uke, etc…
The gi, bowing in and out of the school, how to tie the belt and all the ceremonies and foreign culture stick pleasantly in my mind, even after forty-two years have passed apart from it.
And thinking about that, I understand that the culture, ceremonies and feeling of a good school are as important to most martial artists as is the effectiveness of the style. Now, you might say that is not putting priorities in the right place, and it might seem so, at first glance. But if you think deeper about it, there is a greater understanding to be had.
In a good school, the martial artist will lose himself in the culture of the school. And, in losing himself, he stops the narcissistic self-focus into which people so easily fall. Only then can the hard work of the study kill his inclinations to self-indulgence and build in him the strengths and virtues that he needs to deal with whatever life may throw at him.
But self indulgence is easier. It is promoted by the drug culture, both legal and illegal. It is promoted by sitting in front of a television, hour upon hour. It is promoted most of all by porn and video games; the ultimate self-indulgent soul breakers and isolators.
In conclusion: You may say that your life is your own, to make of it what you will. So be it. You may build yourself into something good, healthy and awesome by losing yourself and thereby finding yourself in something greater than you are. Or you may flush your life, soul and worth down the toilet of self-indulgence. That, I say, is entirely up to you; for only you can make the decisions that build or tear down your person.
Isn’t it nice to have the freedom to choose our paths?
But you only get one life and one body to get it right.
There is no second chance at this.
Make every moment count; for every moment is training you to be something. There is no escape from that truth. The only question is; “What is your daily routine training you to be?”