We tend to treat others the way we have been treated.
But, it does not have to be this way.
We can break the cycle.
Once we recognize what is happening, we have a choice.
And, we have a responsibility.
We can change our future and the future of those we come into contact with.
We are not inextricably tied to or controlled by our past experiences.
Nor should those around us be either.
We must move forward with integrity, compassion, and intention so that we do not become that which we found undesirable, objectionable, or intolerable when we first experienced it.
It is up to us to create a better future for ourselves and for those we love.
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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