Right or Righteous (A Focus On Service)

If, instead of trying to be right, we try to be of service, we will find that we are much more successful over time and quite a bit happier in general.

Being right feels good because it feels safe and protected. We imagine that simply by the fact that we are right, that we are beyond reproach and that we are excused from behaving civilly. We hide behind the fact that we are right and forget to also be good.

Sometimes we can be so right that we are wrong. We can be so right that we forget about the humanity of the person or persons we are dealing with and we behave wrongly in our rightness. Being right is not an excuse to be arrogant, cruel, or unforgiving.

Without graciousness, humility, and a generous, forgiving spirit, we may be right, but we have hindered our ability to be useful. Being right as a primary goal is a dead end. It leaves us alone, clinging to our position like a life raft in a stormy ocean. It is much better to focus on being of service instead.

Being of service requires us to be flexible. It doesn’t mean that we must hold false opinions or take incorrect positions on things, but it does mean that we must be willing to set aside our rightness for a little while in order to do what is right instead. By sacrificing our need to be right in order to be of service, to be helpful, and to be useful, we find that, over time, that which was once right is replaced that which is now righteous. .


Holistic Budo: As it is in budo, so too it is in life. As it is in life, so too it is in budo.

-Robert Van Valkenburgh is co-founder of Taikyoku Mind & Body, Severna Park’s Holistic Chamber of Commerce, and Kogen Dojo where he teaches Taikyoku Budo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

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