We each have an essential role to play in the lives of the people around us.
It may not be the role we want or would have asked for if we had the choice.
But, it is ours nonetheless.
We can choose to either accept it and embrace our responsibility or we can try to deny it and abdicate our responsibility.
Denial and abdication do not remove responsibility, however.
They simply leave it for someone else to take on in our place.
The burden of responsibility exists whether we accept it or not.
We must ask ourselves, then, do we want to lift the people who rely on us up or do we want to let them down?
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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