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Words from Master Riggs
The Boy and the Fisherman
The weather had cleared and the sea was calm but the boy had struck the fisherman's curiosity because he was acting in such a frantic manner. The fisherman approached the young boy to see what was causing him to act in such a hurried manner.
As he got closer he saw that the young boy was speedily tossing starfish back into the sea that had been washed up during the storm. The fisherman said to the young boy "Why are you tossing star fish into the sea, can you not see that the beach is cover with the star fish? How can you make a difference? You can not possibly save them all."
The young boy picked up a star fish, showed it to the fisherman, then tossed it back into the sea saying "I sure made a difference for that one." This is how we make a difference, one student at a time.
Violence is the physical manifestation of one or more negative emotions. Examples of these would be anger, pride, ego, jealousy, fear, hate, selfishness and the list goes on. It is a fundamental part of our most primitive self and because mankind has evolved into a more civilized being we must control our primitive self with the application of logic. This is that allowed us to become civilized in the first place.
Violence in and of it's self is not bad, it is a necessary part of life and properly restrained can be a good thing. When people are asked what violence is, most usually think of the evening news or fighting and the like. This is a common misconception, which is based on a very narrow definition of the word. This definition is quite functional in western society but fails to explain why eating bacon for breakfast and drowning a puppy are on opposing ends of the scale of what is socially acceptable. Western society also tends to label violence as bad, but when asked about issues relating to self-defense it is not. Even people who have been involved in violent acts use the issue of self-defense as justification even if it was not warranted, so as to avoid responsibility for their actions.
This perception of violence is based on the concept that all life has value, even the single blade of grass that grows in the field. This leads to the concept that all life force is equal. Therefore any unjustified violent act against a living thing is wrong, regardless of what the living thing may be. It is not a matter of degree; this only comes into consideration when society must judge one's actions.
Then the question that must be answered is when is a violent act justified? This will depend upon each person's core values, and what each person believes to be the most important choice in a given situation. Society also has definitions that must be taken into consideration. When I eat bacon for breakfast, it is a violent act. But I believe that one of the beast's reasons for existence is to provide food. For someone that believes that it is wrong to kill the beast, even humanely for food, eating bacon for breakfast would be wrong and not justifiable.
Make your choices carefully and be able to justify them, if only for your own inner peace.
"We don't know what we don't know", so the first thing we must do is to learn just what it is that we don't know. For this you need a sensei. For he can tell you what you don't know. You must trust your sensei because it is this trust that opens your mind to the knowledge he has that you seek. Remember that your sensei also doesn't know what he doesn't know. But he does know what he knows, and he too has a sensei to help him.
Iwatana-do Okinawa Kenpo Karate' Martial Arts School
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Rockledge, Fl. 32955 Brevard