Neil Mick wrote:
I must, however, respectfully disagree: there IS a right and wrong (even as there are more than 2 sides to an issue, or even a coin).
No matter how many people die in a conflict, more death does not make it right. No matter how much evil the IDF does, there are still good Israeli's, just as there are good Palestinians, no matter how many bombers there are.
I'm still going to scrupulously avoid getting started on Israel and Palestine, but there is one thing that I learned while practicing there that I really do want to highlight.
If AiKiDo is going to 'work' in the communal or societal sense (and not just the individual sense), it must be large enough to encompass the inevitability that people will have very different ideas of what the AiKi way in a given situation ought to be. Friends of mine who are AiKiDoka from the other side of the political spectrum really ARE, generally, applying their ideas of AiKi to the situations that they see. Maybe we will both having something to learn by discussing it, but I will have very little to offer if I assume that being AiKi implies a particular political position.
It is, I think, somewhat analogous to the attitude I try to take when I encounter an uke whose ukemi doesn't make sense to me: I try to remember that he/she is doing AiKiDo to the best of their understanding
, and that that understanding may be very different, and, who knows, perhaps even deeper than mine. The point is, I have to worry about doing my AiKiDo in this strange and somewhat uncomfortable context, and let them do their AiKiDo as best as they can.
All this being said, I agree with Bruce Baker that there is a lot to be gained through discussion and understanding. I just think there is also a lot to be gained from simple acceptance. It's a tension that I often struggle with, actually.