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Old 11-10-2013, 06:53 PM   #26
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,183
Re: I Don't Care That Much

Matthew Story wrote: View Post
I don't care enough about aikido to endure being regularly beaten with a stick while I practice it. I don't care enough about aikido to pack up and move across the ocean so that I can train with a particular instructor. In fact, I don't even care enough about aikido to drive a two-hour round trip every night I want to train: I would barely get to spend a waking moment with my wife on those days, and two or three days a week of that would get old quickly.
Well, I don't care enough about aikido by any of those standards, either -- not when you put it that way. On the other hand, I do care enough about aikido to put up with, shall we say, rather blunt and not uncommonly physical expressions of frustration from my sensei. I do care enough to give up my evenings for class time plus a 45 minute drive each way, and it would be pretty hard to get me to move away from my dojo at this point. So what are we really talking about here? You can't quantify commitment in terms of the actions you'll put up with, the distance you'll travel or the time you'll spend, because they all mean different things to different people. Moving continents means one thing for a 22-year-old gap-year kid, and another thing for a homeowner with a mortgage that won't just put itself on hold because you feel the need to train. You can't use the same yardstick to judge the dedication of different people, because different circumstances have different definitions of what it means to have some skin in the game. And that's the measure of dedication: what it costs you. The cost of a cup of coffee is trivial to the average middle-class office worker, but is all he has to a homeless person. I've seen poor people give to those with even less, while better-off people rationalized how the poor person didn't deserve it, wasn't doing enough to help himself...wasn't dedicated enough, I guess...and used that rationale as an excuse to give nothing. Compare the cost of training of a parent of three kids who gets to training two or three days a week on average, and the 22-year-old uchideshi-wannabee with no responsibilities who trains daily. Who is paying more for their training?
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