The Opportunity For Inspiration And Experience

We have made it. We have enough. Our kids have enough. Thank you. Now let’s do great work.

From the perspective of basic needs being met, food, shelter, clothing, education, etc., my grandparents gave my parents a better life than they had growing up. In turn, my parents gave us a better life than they had and we are trying to give our children the same. When holidays and birthdays roll around, this becomes most obvious. On the material level, our kids do not need anything.

They have enough clothes, enough toys, and enough books and games for an entire village. They have clean, drinkable water on demand, hot water to bathe with, food when they are hungry, and warm beds to sleep in. We live in a time and place where these basic needs are easier to meet than ever before in all of human history. We do not live extravagantly, but we have enough, our children have enough, and I know that we are very fortunate.

With all of their basic needs being met on a material level, and again I am not talking about living in luxury by any means, we find ourselves in a strange position as parents. We have the ability to choose things for our children that go beyond needs. We have the ability to give them time and experiences, the ability to encourage them to be inspired and creative. All of this, that has taken many, many generations to achieve, would be entirely wasted if all we chose were more things, trips to the mall, video games, fast food, social media, and binge-watching Netflix.

We, as parents, as uncles and aunts, and as grandparents, must choose to not waste this opportunity. In no exaggerated terms, it is the opportunity of a lifetime. Let’s teach them how to live.

“As in life, so too in budo. As in budo, so too in life.”

-Robert Van Valkenburgh is co-founder of Taikyoku Mind & Body and Kogen Dojo where he teaches Taikyoku Budo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

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