If the people we surround ourselves with always agree with us and compliment us, we are associating with the wrong people.
We all lack perspective when it comes to our own shortcomings. This is part of the reason that we long for a sense of community in our lives when it is lacking. An integral component of a healthy, caring family, friend group, or subculture is accountability.
The people we associate with, the ones we trust and count on, are responsible for seeing and pointing out our blind spots and we, in turn, should do the same for them. This is how we grow as people and in our relationships. Loving accountability builds trust.
When we are part of a community within which there is reciprocal accountability, it becomes easier to take healthy risks in our lives because we know that our blindspots are covered. The trust that results from group accountability gives us confidence because we know that we are not alone, we know that we are supported, and we know that we are safe from making too big a mistake without first being called out on it by those who matter.
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 and Kogen Dojo where he teaches Taikyoku Budo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
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