Sunday, February 14, 2016

Armor Plated

(thanks for the inspiration Master SK)

The picture is self-explanatory.  When you read it, you realize that some things you do cannot be undone with a simple apology.

This includes words and actions.

The hearts of those around us are beautiful, like this plate, but also fragile as well.  Some of the things we do can cause damage that never really heals.

In some cases, it is obvious.  The plate shatters, never to be repaired.  In others, the cracks are slight, harder to see, but there nonetheless.  They weaken the plate a little bit at a time, until finally, without warning, it snaps.

Of course, apologies are important.  A heartfelt apology shows remorse and regret, and these are important parts of healing to the hearer, and of growth and understanding for the giver.  Failing to apologize is a deep character flaw.

At the same time, an apology on its own is rarely enough. It is our actions that define us, and making amends is an important part of atonement. Words without deeds are empty and those around us deserve better.

Martial arts training does not just make us physically stronger, it makes us emotionally stronger too.
By working hard in the dojo, under positive stress and challenge, we forge our spirit together. This builds bonds between us and makes us part of a team with a common goal - improvement.  Our training makes us confident without being arrogant, far less likely to break under pressure.

Ultimately, the secret to being hard to break is not cold indifference to the words and actions of others. It is just the opposite. By focusing on our connectness; by using our compassionate heart we overcome other peoples' negativity and hurtful intentions.  This is the highest level of martial arts - where there is neither victory nor defeat - only connectedness.

Be careful of your words and deeds. Positive or negative they can last forever.
Make your spirit strong so it will not break easily.

Make your plate armor plated.

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