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Old 02-22-2006, 12:11 PM   #2
John Brockington
Dojo: Retsushinkan/Birmingham, AL
Location: Birmingham, AL
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 65
Re: Article: The Triangular Base of Training: Wisdom, Humility, and Self-doubt by "The Grindstone"

Sensei Valadez
Thank you very much for writing this article, which so thoroughly elucidates the issue of self-evaluation in training and, really, in living. This is a matter which I feel is very much neglected in our society, which tends to place more emphasis on self-esteem than on self-evaluation, and in which the wants of the individual now supercede what is best for the individual and the larger group. In fact, I truly feel this is one of the biggest problems we all face. Unfortunately, the resistance to self-criticism has become institutionalized, and the individual is now beyond all criticism. This is evident in our educational system, businesses, and friendships, so why should we bother to criticize ourselves? People used to make "mistakes", but now we have "miscommunications." Accountability to others is no longer required, so why should we be accountable to ourselves? To compound the problem, the process of self-doubt or self-evaluation that you discuss is often painful and time consuming, not easy for anyone really, and certainly not a favorite activity in a culture where pain is anathema and the concept of taking a long time to do anything is regarded with suspicion or derision. I think this is seen in aikido as well, with some individuals expecting an extraordinary level of ability or accomplishment without being willing to invest the twenty years to get there. I really do not have much hope for this all to change, given these obstacles. But then, it's not for me to change anyone other than myself. Anyway, thanks again for your thoughts which have helped me with my thoughts.

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