Thought For The Week

Thought for the Week (June 11th, 2001)
Sensei Judy Barnhart
Okinawan Karate Dojo
Merritt Island, Florida 

When we fail we are humbled
and then the learning

2001 marks my 54th year on the planet! I count my blessings everyday! My life  is a grand adventure! Kata in the morning keeps me grounded and focused! 

Recently I got a very part time job working as a recruiter for my friend's business. A new door has opened. I know nothing about being a, "head hunter." Fortunately he is a great teacher with over 25 years experience in this unique field. With each new day on the phone I get a little more professional at finding people who are ready for a major life change. He says by September 
I'll be in a much better place skill wise. 

Everyday I make numerous mistakes as I begin learning. I just have to remember to breathe and make mental notes but most importantly I have to remember I know nothing about recruiting and be grateful that I have a 
talented and patient teacher! 

Not to toot my own horn but the above is an example of humility. It's the opposite of a being a pompous know-it-all. Not to say that I have this virtue all the time but karate has helped me to develop a thick crusty skin and the ability to receive corrections! 

Explaining humility the thesaurus uses words 
like come down off ones high horse, look foolish, feel small, draw in one's horns, bring to one's knees, meek, modest, submissive and than there is Kyoshi's favorite- unoffended. 
We find the act of being humble in our karate classes and in all military organizations examples such as, giving proper titles and saluting or bowing, using phrases like, "yes sir and aye aye captain." 

In karate we say, "Arigato, Sensei" and "Onegai-shimasu." If I have an attitude that I know this already than I don't have humility and I can't learn. Humility is the essence of what it's like to be a white belt. We never want to loose this quality. To be able to recognize that someone knows more than you do and be unoffended enough to glean from them what you need to know is humility. It's impossible to be pompous and learn anything! 

Humility is something we can't fake. It is important to be "unoffended" from a sincere humble place and not from an egotistical holier than thou attitude. It is curious that all the true masters of their art exude the most humility. One wonders what came first the humility or the mastery. One last thought, failure is one of the best teachers of humility. When we 
fail we are humbled and then the learning begins.

Sensei Judy Barnhart
Okinawan Karate Dojo
Merritt Island, Florida 32952