Looking For Strength In Others

It is quite possible that the things that bother us most about others are actually their strengths.

As we get to know people, certain qualities in their character, personality, and demeanor begin to stand out.

We start to notice patterns of attitude, belief, and behavior, that seem to repeat over and over again.

Inevitably, over time, some of these patterns we observe in others, especially those closest to us, will begin to rub us the wrong way.

We will not like everything we see in them or experience in ourselves when we are around them.

This is especially true if we, ourselves, are particularly observant and sensitive.

One thing to keep in mind, however, is that these attributes brought that person this far.

These attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors enabled that person to survive in an often cold, cruel, and dangerous world up until this point.

Looked at in this way, it is worth considering that those things we do not like in them are actually what make them strong, resilient, and powerful in their own right.

Maybe it is that which bothers us that we should actually be thankful for because this person may not be here with us now if it were not this exact trait.


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 Kogen Dojo Self Defense Academy where he teaches Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

All photos by Robert Van Valkenburgh unless otherwise noted.

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