On Improving For Our Community

When we find ourselves apologizing for the same things over and over again, it is time to make a change.

We all make mistakes.

The goal is to not make the same mistakes over and over again.

As humans, it is our responsibility to recognize the patterns of our behavior that do not serve us or those around us and to take positive action in their opposite direction.

This is required not only for our personal growth, but also for the benefit of our family and community.

Even if we are comfortable in solitude, we are not solitary creatures.

Each and every one of us has some degree of dependance, interdependence, and codependence with regards to the other people in our lives.

We may be able to survive on our own, but we cannot truly thrive without being part of some kind of community.

But, in order to be part of a community, we must be responsible for our actions and accountable to the other members of that community.

Without personal responsibility and group accountability, we are not really with people, we are just around them.

This means that our words, attitudes, and actions must adapt to the group’s needs and, when we repeatedly say or do things that are detrimental to the group’s well-being, we must acknowledge and correct our behavior.

Our growth should never come at the cost of our integrity, however.

A community that demands that our integrity be compromised in order to be a part of it is not truly our community anyway.

Typically, the only price evolution asks us to pay, so long as we are willing, is to give up some of our pride and replace it with effort.

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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