Simply because we are capable of something does not mean that we should do it.
In fact, there is a great deal that we can do that we simply should not.
Obviously, some things we are capable of are just plain wrong.
We should not do them because they are immoral, unethical, or harmful to ourselves or others.
However, much of life and many of our choices exist on the blurry line that divides right from wrong.
That is to say, a lot of the decisions we must make are not as obvious as merely doing what is right and not doing what is wrong.
But, all of our decisions have consequences.
All actions have a cost.
Our time, energy, and attention are finite resources.
Our bodies and minds are only capable of so much.
Beyond morality, we must also consider longevity and sustainability.
We cannot consistently make choices and take actions that push us to or past our edge and expect to be healthy and successful in the long run.
We may be able to push ourselves like this for a short period of time, or even in repeated bursts for a relatively long period of time, but we cannot live like this forever.
We have to find a pace and make choices that we can live with.
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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