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Old 10-18-2002, 12:48 PM   #37
Deb Fisher
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 145
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Should should should.

I don't know, Kevin. First of all, I agree with you - flaccid, bored people are a scourge. As a teaching assistant in a large research institution, I have too much daily contact with students who have no idea why they are in school and shuffle from requirement to requirement with absolutely no sense of curiosity, drive, or even a basic understanding of what a huge resource they are turning up their noses at. It's infuriating.

But you know, aikido isn't college. For some reason that I don't agree with, college has become an unquestioned next step, a prerequisite to "getting a job" or whatever, which results in lots of flabby, sad-faced kids shuffling through at their parents insistence alone.

People almost never force other people to take aikido, though. It is a small, arcane thing. It won't even teach you to kick someone's ass. It's pleasures are complex and difficult sometimes to understand. It hurts sometimes, it involves a commitment to being completely unselfconscious...

... it's exactly what a generation of people who shuffle along from perceived commitment to perceived commitment need, and I think it demands too much to keep the truly lazy participant... there are too may other things lazy people can do, like go to the movies or watch TV or shop for things.

I think true sluggards, people who really have no heart in it, quit aikido, because there is absolutely no reason to stick with it. Maybe your sluggards are trying, but have fewer inner resources and a bigger commitment to the lazy world than you do. As you have so eloquently noted, the culture we live in has the potential to be a vast wasteland. What is the harm in being generous with people who are, by their very presence, making a real step away from that wasteland? Why not balance good conditions and time and space to uncover ones' own powers with gentle shaming for laziness?

Lazy, flaccid people around the world need resources like aikido. It makes you stronger. I don't know if I'm making any sense, this is something I have thought a lot about because of my teaching job. I think people are probably getting lazier and less curious, I think that's terrible, and I want to be part of the solution. Sometimes, in the name of creating a supportive environment, I think that involves 'coddling lameness'. Only then wil the discomfort you prescribe have a helpful context.

Whatever, I just think it's more complicated than you're letting on.

Blah blah,

Deb

Deb Fisher
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