We all have something unique to offer this world.
Part of our purpose here is to discover what our gift is and to share it with others.
But, there is more to life than that.
We are not here alone.
We cannot fulfill our purpose in a vacuum.
As important as our own gift is to our life and to the contribution that we make to the lives of those around us, equally important are the unique talents, ideas, and perspectives of others.
Being able to see this, to appreciate it, and to come together for the common good is the true meaning of community.
By working together, by being strong where someone else is weak, and by allowing others to be strong where we are weak, that is how change is made.
But first, we must be open to the possibility that we need others and that they also need us.
This is not an easy undertaking.
Our egos are always working against us.
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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