It is up to us to decide how we process the information we receive from the outside world.
Regardless of what others do and say, we are responsible for what we think, how we communicate, and how we behave.
There is no way to abdicate this responsibility.
There are no excuses, justifications, or explanations that will suffice if we try.
Our mind and our will belong to us and us alone to do with as we choose.
If we allow the words and actions of others to dictate our thoughts and behavior, whether by self-destructively internalizing them or by turning them destructively outward onto others, we are no longer in control of ourselves and our lives.
Even this is a choice, however.
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.*
*Robert Van Valkenburgh’s black and white photography can be seen at My Darkness To Light
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