The path to community begins with self discovery and self acceptance.
If we look deeply enough at the broad spectrum of our tastes and preferences, we will find a theme that runs throughout them and ties them all together. Within this theme of truth about what we like and dislike, seek out and avoid, what brings us joy or sadness, comfort or pain, excitement or fear, we may discover who we are at our core. We may gain a glimpse into our essential nature, or at least its most common manifestations and expressions.
This theme of tastes and preferences is what makes us uniquely who we are, but we are not, we cannot be totally alone in this. By discovering who we are and what we like (or do not like), we also discover a potential bond with others who are also like us. There may be many others or there may only be a few, but there are always others who think, feel, and act in a way that is in harmony with our essential natures.
This group of people may be different from our family and perhaps even from our closest friends. These kindred spirits may in fact be folks we have never met, but they are out there somewhere. They are the “people like us [who] do things like this” that Seth Godin refers to. They are our spiritual tribe. They are the folks with whom we share a bond of essence and with whom, if we can make a real life connection, we can do truly great things for other “people like us [who] do things like this,” but first we must figure out who we are.
Holistic Budo: As it is in budo, so too it is in life. As it is in life, so too it is in budo.
All photos by Robert Van Valkenburgh unless otherwise noted.
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