Look past disagreements of opinions and beliefs to see where intentions overlap.
If all we ever see from one another is the most superficial aspects of our lives, there is no hope of having deep and meaningful relationships. Without deep and meaningful relationships, there is no possibility of creating a healthy, thriving community that works together for the common good. Without the power of a collective voice and collective will behind the change we wish to make, we are alone and helpless, left to fight against each other over opinions and agendas that may not even be our own or in our best interest.
Deep down, most of us simply want what is best for ourselves, our families, and our close circle of friends and associates. Most likely, we also want this without wanting the opposite for others. If we understand this about ourselves and assume that it is also true for others, we have a much greater opportunity to work together within our communities and with other overlapping communities for mutually beneficial solutions.
The fact is that people who lead purposeful, satisfying lives wherein they feel loved and supported by their community, no matter how small that community may be, also understand that their success is not contingent upon another person or group’s failure. In addition, people who are actively involved in healthy relationships know that finger pointing, name calling, and bickering never lead to positive, long-lasting solutions. Meaningful change begins by looking past our differences of belief and opinion and looking for the commonalities of spirit and intention we share with one another, for it is only through these commonalities that we will ever have community in the true sense of the word.
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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