We cannot be all things to all people and still be effective.
We all want this world to be a better place for ourselves, our families, and our loved ones.
We want the future to be better than the past.
We want to leave this life knowing that it is better for us having been here.
If we are sincere about these desires, we want to be helpful.
We want to be of service where, when, how, and to whom we can.
But, part of maturing as a human is acknowledging, understanding, and embracing our limitations.
Each and every one of us has limited resources with which we can effect change and we must choose wisely how we use those resources because some of them, especially our time and our attention, are non-renewable.
Once given away, we do not get them back.
We must, therefore, determine for ourselves, often through trial and error, though many attempts and many failures, where the limits of our efficacy, the boundaries of our responsibility, and the edges of our obligation lie.
We have to learn to respect and accept the fact that a lot of people in this world need help, but not they do not all necessarily need our help.
There are many, many problems in this life that need to be solved, but they do not necessarily need to be solved by us.
From day to day, there is an endless number of tasks that need to be completed, but they need not all be completed by us.
As difficult as it is to remember with our modern-day, globalized consciousness, effective, positive change begins at home, however we may define that for ourselves.
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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