The Choice Is Yours And Mine

Our legacies are built one decision, one action, and one interaction at a time.

Every day, from the moment we wake up until we fall asleep, we have a multitude of choices to make, so many choices, in fact, that there is no possible way to be right all of the time. Often, the best we can do, with the limited amount of information, knowledge, and time we have, is to try to do what is right. Even defining what is right, ethically, morally, and socially, is a series of choices that must be weighed against our own beliefs, circumstances, and cultural context.

Life is complicated. No one is perfect. We do our best.

None of this excuses us, however, from being accountable for our decisions. The onus is on us to make as many choices as we can, from moment to moment, consciously, intentionally, and responsibly. All of our decisions, all of our actions, and all of our interactions have an effect on others and the world around us, now and for a long time to come, whether we know it or not, whether we like it or not.

Who we are now and what we do now shapes ours and everyone else’s future. This has never not been true. Our legacy is a choice, every choice.


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.

All photos by Robert Van Valkenburgh (artist unknown, unless otherwise noted).

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