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Old 01-25-2009, 12:22 AM   #3
Dojo: North Winnipeg Aikikai
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 265
Re: The Magnifying Glass

Your article left me wondering the following:

I know we can only fight poverty by sharing abundance, and for that we must be prosperous.
There is currently enough "prosperity" in the world to completely eradicate poverty everywhere. Is the solution to poverty, then, really more prosperity? It doesn't seem like it to me...

I know that we cannot fight violence and warfare except by living peaceably, and for that we must be more at ease with our own conflicted natures.
How does "being at ease with our own conflicted natures" necessarily result in effectively fighting violence and warfare? Do you really think that if one is conflicted they cannot work toward peace in the world?

I know that we cannot fight inequity by dragging down the mighty, but by lifting up and exalting the low, and for that we must be either strong or good at finding levers.
You speak of "inequity" and then refer to the "mighty" and the "low." Your terms are rather ambiguous, but the general impression your words leave is that there is a problem if some are "mighty" while others are not. Why is the fact that not all are "mighty" necessarily inequitable?

I know that we cannot bring sanity to the abused and the congenitally damaged unless we see how crazy and broken we all are, and for that, we need... oh! authentic humility.
It sounds like you're saying it takes one crazy person to fix another. Your comment above also seems to assume that everyone is equally broken and crazy and that it is not humble to suggest otherwise. So, I ask: Must an oncologist suffer cancer before he is able to treat it? Is it arrogant of him to offer medical advice to a cancer sufferer if he hasn't suffered cancer himself? I don't think so... And on what basis do you assert that everyone is "crazy" and "broken"? What do these terms even mean, exactly?

Finally, I know that whatever the cost, however great the challenge, we cannot continue to heal a hurt world through the spoiled medicine of self-sacrifice. That path is putrid with the blood of martyrs and the rotting offal of sanctimonious saints who only increase the ledger of suffering.
I find your suggestion that self-sacrifice is "spoiled medicine" and that martyrs of the past were "sanctimonious" and/or their shed blood "putrid" highly objectionable. It is the great lack of genuine self-sacrifice that has created the "hurt world" of which you write! Your words trample on some of the noblest moments of human history.

Instead, we desperately need a path, no -- a highway! -- that will speed us to wherever we are needed, but with scenery that contains beauty, and in a vehicle that is fun, sexy, and potent.
Are you serious? I have nothing against fun, potency, or even sexiness (in the right context), except when it is suggested as an alternative to self-sacrifice. And this is exactly what you appear to have done! If I have read you right, the selfishness and superficiality of your above statement is rather horrifying!

Seen is this light, my test for good aikido (mine or yours) is this:

Does it increase prosperity?
Is it effective in the face of conflict?
Does it lead toward praise and gratitude more often than criticism and satire?
Does it promote the confidence necessary to admit personal faults, failings, and limitations?
Is it a path of service that is exciting and enticing and downright hedonistic?
For the most part, I think these questions have no pertinency to Aikido whatsoever. I am particularly baffled by your last question. It seems rather selfish to me to think that one must be serving oneself while one serves others. Don't get me wrong: I don't think that service must be necessarily onerous, but I don't think that one should expect or insist on service to others being "enticing" and "downright hedonistic". Such service is merely selfishness in disguise.

"Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend."
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