January 2008

Something to think about.

An elderly Chinese woman had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole, which she carried across her neck. One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the woman bringing home only one and a half pots of water. Of course the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfections, and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do. After two years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the woman one day by the stream. “I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house.” The old woman smiled, “Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them. For two years, I have been able to pick beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house.” Each of us has our own unique flaw, but it’s the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. You’ve just got to take each person for what they are and look for the good in them. Have a great day and remember to smell the flowers and NEVER HAVE REGRETS!!!

 

The Art of Fighting Without Fighting.

There was once a very famous Aikido player in Japan who spent his whole life studying Usheba’s legendary art. Although he had dedicated his whole existence to this beautiful art he had never actually had an occasion to test it in a real life situation against a determined attacker, someone intent on hurting him. Being a moralistic kind of person he realised that it would be very bad karma to actually go out and pick a fight just to test his art so he was forced to wait until a suitable occasion presented itself. Naively, he longed for the day when he was attacked so that he could prove to himself that Aikido was powerful outside of the controlled walls of the dojo. The more he trained, the more his obsession for validation grew until one day, traveling home from work on a train, a potential situation did present itself – an overtly drunk and aggressive man boarded his train and almost immediately started verbally abusing the other passengers. ‘This is it,’ the Aikido man thought to himself, ‘this is my chance to test my art.’ He sat waiting for the abusive passenger to reach him. It was inevitable that he would: he was making his way down the carriage abusing everyone in his path. The drunk got closer and closer to the Aikido man, and the closer he got the louder and more aggressive he became. Most of the other passengers recoiled in fear of being attacked by the drunk. However, the Aikido man couldn’t wait for his turn, so that he could prove to himself and everyone else, the effectiveness of his art. The drunk got closer and louder. The Aikido man made ready for the seemingly inevitable assault – he readied himself for a bloody encounter. As the drunk was almost upon him he prepared to demonstrate his art in the ultimate arena, but before he could rise from his seat the passenger in front of him stood up and engaged the drunk jovially. ‘Hey man, what’s up with you? I bet you’ve been drinking in the bar all day, haven’t you? You look like a man with problems. Here, come and sit down with me, there’s no need to be abusive. No one on this train wants to fight with you.’ The Aikido man watched in awe as the passenger skillfully talked the drunken man down from his rage. Within minutes the drunk was pouring his heart out to the passenger about how his life had taken a downward turn and how he had fallen on hard times. It wasn’t long before the drunk had tears streaming down his face. The Aikido man, somewhat ashamed thought to himself ‘That’s Aikido!’. He realised in that instant that the passenger with a comforting arm around the sobbing drunk was demonstrating Aikido, and all martial arts, in there highest form.