It Is Better To Be Better

If we want to be heard, we must first stop making noise.

Distance and time are no longer barriers to communication. Distance has become irrelevant and the time between putting a message into the world and having that message received has condensed down to nearly an instant.

The new barrier to communication is noise.

Everyone in the world with an internet connection has the potential to be a public speaker. This makes the public mediascape a very noisy place.

There are a near infinite number of forces, some malignant and some benign, vying for our digital attention in any given moment.

With so many people talking, posting, commenting, and sharing, actually being heard when we have something to say can be quite difficult and even frustrating.

If silence is not an option, we essentially have two choices. We can try to be louder than everyone else or we can try to be better than everyone else.

The thing to realize with regards to the former strategy is that it is also the more obvious and easier of the two to attempt. Because of this, many, many more people, organizations, and corporations are also trying the same thing and we are all but guaranteed to be outnumbered and out-funded.

The latter strategy, on the other hand, while it may seem much more difficult to attempt and to pull off, may not actually be. The reason for this is quite simple. There is a lot less competition in that realm of better than there is in the realm of louder. Less competition means less noise.

If we want to be heard, our goal should be to be better not to be louder.


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 unless otherwise noted.

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