Be yourself, but first, be kind.
It is important to be authentic and honest, but it is more important to temper that with humility and compassion. Without humility and compassion, it becomes easy to deceive ourselves into thinking that authenticity and honesty mean saying whatever we feel like to whomever we feel like saying it.
If being authentic means being unkind and if being honest means being cruel, what does that say about who we really are deep down?
If, in order to be authentic or honest, we must put others down, criticize them, or mock them, perhaps we would all be better off with a bit more pretending. Others do not need to fail in order for us to succeed. We do not have to belittle others in order us to stand tall.
We do not need to be fake, but we do need to be kind. The point is not to be ourselves in spite of the world around us. Instead, we must try to make the world better through our presence, our words, and our deeds.
Holistic Budo: As it is in budo, so too it is in life. As it is in life, so too it is in budo.
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