Be Generous First

Sometimes the shortest path to getting what you want is to help others get what they want.

Wabisabi Street Art photo by Robert Van Valkenburgh (artist unknown)

We all need support and companionship to some degree or another as we move through this life. In spite of what some of us think or say, we cannot really and truly thrive alone and in isolation. We need other people and they need us, especially if we are striving for progress, not merely survival.

Once we realize that we have to work together with others in order to create a better life for ourselves, we must begin thinking about what exactly the best way to do this is. Simply put, the road to mutually beneficial relationships cannot be based on selfishness or even self-interest alone. Our relationships must be rooted in an attitude of abundance.

In a healthy relationship, we cannot take more than we need, but we also cannot give more than we have because neither of these approaches is sustainable. This does not mean that all healthy relationships are perfectly balanced or fair because they never will be. What it means is that if we want to be in a relationship of generosity and integrity, we have to start there ourselves by being the ones who behave that way first.


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

Street art photo taken by Robert (artist unknown)

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