We do not have to be rude to be authentic.
If we have any kind of point of view, lots of people will say and do things that are in conflict with our opinions and beliefs. That is simply part of life. If we feel the need to react to every incidence of disagreement with our perspective and values, we are giving others the ability to control our emotions.
Having integrity means having boundaries which means having self control. Allowing the beliefs and behaviors of others to dictate our own is the opposite of this. Sometimes saying nothing is more powerful, at least in terms of our own integrity, than saying something.
Of course, this does not mean that we should be ‘fake’ or that we should agree with our detractors simply to avoid conflict. It simply means that seeking out conflict for conflict’s sake, contrary to how we may feel, actually weakens our position and authority.
Displaying inauthentic courtesy to people who do not deserve it is not the same as simply not being disrespectful. The former is a lie. The latter is self control.
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
Artwork by Ana, except where otherwise noted
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