Whether you are alone or with someone it doesn’t matter, put Love in your heart and embrace the world.
Whether you are alone or with someone it doesn’t matter, put Love in your heart and embrace the world.
We live in a sensitive world. That doesn’t make it right. Below are 5 things people say almost daily that most people find “acceptable”. That doesn’t make it right. I was raised in a sticks-and-stones household. I went to a sticks-and-stones high school. For some the term sticks-and-stones may be a foreign concept, that is sad. For you, it means that “sticks and stones” (and fists and feet) will hurt me. Words only have the power I assign to them. It means be a Man and get a thick skin, actions speak louder than words. It also means be truthful, honest and responsible or you will be called out.
Sadly this is a nearly dead culture in America today, I would guess in most of the world too. Still not understanding what I am getting at? Here are 5 things you should never say or think, but they are very prevalent in society today. If you are a Karate practitioner, you should be familiar with this list, if you aren’t your training may not be complete or your Sensei finds them acceptable.
“I can’t do that.”
If somebody had said this he would’ve found himself challenged and forced to the attempt and success. Unless a physical handicap is present, replace your “can” or “can’t,” with “will” or “won’t.” There’s always a way. Find it.
“Sorry I’m late.”
You don’t hear this in a culture of accountability because expectations are set, and if they’re not met then there are repercussions. Not to say that expectations don’t change, but it’s not for a lack of effort in fulfilling them.
“I’m sorry I hurt your feelings.”
Seriously, Feelings? What’s that?
“I don’t know.”
While admitting uncertainty is perfectly fine, the statement alone leaves much to be desired. Instead, try saying “I don’t know yet, but I’ll find out and get back to you.” This latter part is what demonstrates a proactive mindset and a willingness to work, rather than leaving your ambition open to interpretation.
“Let’s talk this out.”
There is nothing like the camaraderie. Nothing else even comes close to paralleling the tight bond, unity and cohesion found amongst men you train with. Having said that, some people just need a good whoopin’ once in a while to keep egos in check, and fellow students and friends are no different. Confronting difficult issues and learning from them is what turns mediocrity into greatness.
Thanks to this article for giving me the basis for this post.
Today we gather, we eat, we celebrate, we relax, we eat some more, but many of us miss the Thankful part of the day. We miss what we should be thankful for; and we miss what others are thankful for. Today try to see what you have to be thankful for. Try to see what others are thankful for; like the companionship and warmth of a family gathering; a reprieve from what may be the solitude they live daily. Or simply for a warm meal in a safe environment, things most of us take for granted. Be thankful. In our recognition of our blessings comes peace of heart. Peace of heart makes us content and calm. So,
I leave you with this prayer:
Thank you, Father, for having created us and given us to each other in the human family. Thank you for being with us in all our joys and sorrows, for your comfort in our sadness, your companionship in our loneliness. Thank you for yesterday, today, tomorrow and for the whole of our lives. Thank you for friends, for health and for grace. May we live this and every day conscious of all that has been given to us. Amen.
In celebration of Today, the 4th or July, I thought I would share some quotes from the men who sacrificed so much that we could be a free and independent people. Between hot dogs and backyard games, we should all take a moment to reflect on the words and actions of these men everyday but especially on this day.
“The best thing to give to your enemy is forgiveness; to an opponent, tolerance; to a friend, your heart; to your child, a good example; to a father, deference; to your mother, conduct that will make her proud of you; to yourself, respect; to all others, charity.”
— Benjamin Franklin
“Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people, who have a right…and a desire to know; but besides this, they have a right, an indisputable, unalienable, indefeasible, divine right to that most dreaded and envied kind of knowledge, I mean of the characters and conduct of their rulers.”
— John Adams
“The distinctions between Virginians, Pennsylvanians, New Yorkers, and New Englanders are no more. I Am Not A Virginian, But An American!”
— Patrick Henry
“A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves… and include all men capable of bearing arms.”
— Richard Henry Lee
“No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government”
— Thomas Jefferson
“The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference – they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good”
— George Washington
This week Target’s interim CEO, John Mulligan, announced “starting today we will also respectfully request that guests not bring firearms to Target – even in communities where it is permitted by law.“.
It seems Target’s new CEO is trying to have his cake and eat it too! He seems to be pandering to the Anti-Second Amendment crowd with language they can interpret as they want; or if they aren’t that blind then they see this as a step in the right direction.
Despite Moms Demand Action and Bloomberg’s Anti-Gun group very quick Victory Dance and viral comments, they seem to have lost their ability to understand basic English. That or Target’s Interim CEO doesn’t understand the words he is using. From the above “respectfully request” is merely a request not a real ban…right? Luckily someone decided to ask Target to clarify, according to The Columbian,
Molly Snyder, a Target spokeswoman, said the retailer will not post signs at its stores asking people not to bring guns inside. “It is not a ban,” she said. “There is no prohibition.” She said the company decided to make this statement after hearing from people on all sides of this issue.
I have to say this is probably the biggest non-story ever, yet everyone seems so excited. I mean Target might as well have announced they are changing their logo from white and red pattern to a red and white pattern! Fortunately, absolutely nothing has changed and you can still carry your legal self-defense weapon while shopping.
Since this story is a great opening to discuss the effectiveness of guns for self-defense/preservation. And the Anti-Second Amendment crowd always seems to fall back to the “that is what we have police for” argument, followed by plugging their ears and repeating, “nah nah I can’t hear you“. We have to be honest, the Anti-Second Amendment “supporters” are using emotional arguments that do not hold up to logic. Unfortunately not many people use critical thinking and get caught up in the emotions of “gun violence”. This is nothing new, manipulators use emotions to motivate/influence a crowd. But what about the claim that we do not need to protect ourselves, because we have a dedicated Police Force?
If that is so true, why do most Police departments hold or sponsor Self-Defense classes? To really see how often people need their Second Amendment Rights to protect and preserve themselves, check this out… Here is the Proof that the Right to Bear Arms is a matter of life or death: Great Map of Incidents where Privately Owned Guns Save Lives
Today, of all days, I thought it appropriate to share some of Pope Benedict’s words:(emphasis mine)
“We who have always lived with the Christian concept of God, and have grown accustomed to it, have almost ceased to notice that we possess the hope that ensues from a real encounter with this God. The example of a saint of our time can to some degree help us understand what it means to have a real encounter with this God for the first time. I am thinking of the African Josephine Bakhita, canonized by Pope John Paul II. She was born around 1869—she herself did not know the precise date—in Darfur in Sudan. At the age of nine, she was kidnapped by slave-traders, beaten till she bled, and sold five times in the slave-markets of Sudan. Eventually she found herself working as a slave for the mother and the wife of a general, and there she was flogged every day till she bled; as a result of this she bore 144 scars throughout her life. Finally, in 1882, she was bought by an Italian merchant for the Italian consul Callisto Legnani, who returned to Italy as the Mahdists advanced. Here, after the terrifying “masters” who had owned her up to that point, Bakhita came to know a totally different kind of “master”—in Venetian dialect, which she was now learning, she used the name “paron” for the living God, the God of Jesus Christ. Up to that time she had known only masters who despised and maltreated her, or at best considered her a useful slave. Now, however, she heard that there is a “paron” above all masters, the Lord of all lords, and that this Lord is good, goodness in person. She came to know that this Lord even knew her, that he had created her—that he actually loved her. She too was loved, and by none other than the supreme “Paron”, before whom all other masters are themselves no more than lowly servants. She was known and loved and she was awaited. What is more, this master had himself accepted the destiny of being flogged and now he was waiting for her “at the Father’s right hand”. Now she had “hope” —no longer simply the modest hope of finding masters who would be less cruel, but the great hope: “I am definitively loved and whatever happens to me—I am awaited by this Love. And so my life is good.” Through the knowledge of this hope she was “redeemed”, no longer a slave, but a free child of God. She understood what Paul meant when he reminded the Ephesians that previously they were without hope and without God in the world—without hope because without God. Hence, when she was about to be taken back to Sudan, Bakhita refused; she did not wish to be separated again from her “Paron”. On 9 January 1890, she was baptized and confirmed and received her first Holy Communion from the hands of the Patriarch of Venice. On 8 December 1896, in Verona, she took her vows in the Congregation of the Canossian Sisters and from that time onwards, besides her work in the sacristy and in the porter’s lodge at the convent, she made several journeys round Italy in order to promote the missions: the liberation that she had received through her encounter with the God of Jesus Christ, she felt she had to extend, it had to be handed on to others, to the greatest possible number of people. The hope born in her which had “redeemed” her she could not keep to herself; this hope had to reach many, to reach everybody.
Aside: I love to study history and foreign cultures so the previous passage resonates with me. It leads nicely into the next passage from the same encyclical from Pope Benedict, which ultimately leads us to ask, is being a good person, good enough, I am increasingly of the opinion that it is not; that much more is expected of us in this life.
Again from Pope Benedict’s Encyclical:
How could the idea have developed that Jesus’s message is narrowly individualistic and aimed only at each person singly? How did we arrive at this interpretation of the “salvation of the soul” as a flight from responsibility for the whole, and how did we come to conceive the Christian project as a selfish search for salvation which rejects the idea of serving others? In order to find an answer to this we must take a look at the foundations of the modern age. These appear with particular clarity in the thought of Francis Bacon. That a new era emerged-through the discovery of America and the new technical achievements that had made this development possible-is undeniable. But what is the basis of this new era? It is the new correlation of experiment and method that enables man to arrive at an interpretation of nature in conformity with its laws and thus finally to achieve “the triumph of art over nature” (victoria cursus artis super naturam). The novelty-according to Bacon’s vision-lies in a new correlation between science and praxis. This is also given a theological application: the new correlation between science and praxis would mean that the dominion over creation -given to man by God and lost through original sin-would be reestablished.
Anyone who reads and reflects on these statements attentively will recognize that a disturbing step has been taken: up to that time, the recovery of what man had lost through the expulsion from Paradise was expected from faith in Jesus Christ: herein lay “redemption”. Now, this “redemption”, the restoration of the lost “Paradise” is no longer expected from faith, but from the newly discovered link between science and praxis. It is not that faith is simply denied; rather it is displaced onto another level-that of purely private and other-worldly affairs-and at the same time it becomes somehow irrelevant for the world. This programmatic vision has determined the trajectory of modern times and it also shapes the present-day crisis of faith which is essentially a crisis of Christian hope.
So, I will leave you on this Blessed of Holy Days with these passages to reflect upon. I would further ask, if faith is not individualistic, then which is the true path, which path contains Truth you need?
Have a Happy and Blessed Easter
The Way we should live but usually don’t. As Martial Artists we are supposed to be role models, we usually are not. Like so many we do things for selfish reasons. We miss the multitude of opportunities God sends our way to do those small (and big) things and improve the lives of our fellow man. Selfish. Any discipline requires some denial of the self, be it diet to lose weight or not watching TV so you can practice that kata or technique a few more times. If only we would apply that same sacrifice in our dealings with others. The noise of the modern world seduces us so we can ignore those small important acts of kindness and love which help us grow and find internal peace. What surprised me was the fact that it was a TVC Thai Life Insurance commercial/public service announcement that inspired me to reflect on this very fact…
Who did you help today?
I came across some new footwear from Nike, the Nike Studio Wrap. See for yourself:
I can do without the other accessories however they could be turned into non-obvious self-defense tools in a pinch… 😉 There is one really big problem…They are for Women Only! What was Nike thinking, why are they discriminating against Men who practice Karate (or Yoga)?! I’ve written Nike but I doubt I’ll get a response…
I wonder how you convert men’s sizes to women’s…? …Nah…
Like we needed a reason…A new study finally explains why Dark Chocolate is good for your Heath!! The study, released by Louisiana State University, tested cocoa powders in the digestive tract and found some microbes in the gut use the dark chocolate to improve heart health. “Good bacteria in the stomach feasts on the chocolate and then produce compounds that are anti-inflammatory cardiovascular tissues that absorb the compounds, improving your heart health.”
The study’s lead researcher, John Finley, elaborates, saying, “When these compounds are absorbed by the body, they lessen the inflammation of cardiovascular tissue, reducing the long-term risk of stroke.” (Via HealthDay)
So go ahead, reach for that extra piece of dark chocolate. But while you’re at it, add some fruit. “Scientists say combining dark chocolate with solid fruits like pomegranates and acai could provide even greater benefits.” Dark chocolate is also full of antioxidants and can help reduce blood pressure, ease depression and control blood sugar. Just make sure your dark chocolate is made up of 70 percent cocoa or more!
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