When we give others the ability to violate our integrity, we lose their respect and our own.
Simply because someone asks or even demands something of us does not make it our obligation to concede.
Of course, one of our primary goals should be to be of service to others wherever and whenever possible.
However, if we must violate our principles, morality, or personal boundaries in some way in order to be of service, there will likely be more lost than gained in the exchange.
This is especially true when it comes to respect.
When we compromise on our principles, not only do we respect ourselves less for doing so, but others respect us less as well.
Once lost, respect, self or otherwise, is difficult, or even impossible to gain back.
The best we can hope for is to learn from the experience and to do better next time.
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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