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Courage, Compassion, and Class
Courage, Compassion, and Class
by Lynn Seiser
03-17-2008
Courage, Compassion, and Class

The courage to lead from the front, by example, and in the right direction.
The compassion for those following us.
The class to be worthy of their trust.
Courage: heart; mental or moral strength to venture, persevere,
and withstand danger, fear, and difficulty; resolution; tenacity
Courage is to be scared to death, but still be willing to do the right thing. The right thing is seldom easy, but we all already know what it is. We know what creates suffering and what creates success. Courage is to refrain from those things that create more suffering and have the discipline to keep doing the things that create success.

The courage to lead from the front. It is fear that makes most people followers. Fear of failure, fear of success. Fear of being alone, fear of intimacy. Fear of being wrong, fear of being right. Courage is seeing through our identification with those fears and realize that they only bring suffering. If we want to end up in life at a certain place, we may need to take the lead. Some will follow because they are followers. Some will follow because they agree. Most will walk behind you, some beside, and a few will be ahead. Others won't even wonder where we went.

The courage to lead by example. Many point the way and let other lead. Some attempt to lead though words. Courage is to model doing the right thing. Identity is learned through the imitation and incorporation of external role models. Courage is the consciousness and willingness to lead by the example we want others to live by. Most people don't change because they don't believe it is possible or they don't know how. Being an example that it is possible to be healthy, happy, and honorable is contagious. So is anxiety, depression, addiction, and failure.
The courage to lead in the right direction.
Compassion: sympathetic consciousness of other's distress together with the desire to alleviate it
The compassion for those who follow.
Class: a group called to service; students meeting regularly to study the same subject; a period or meeting; a course of instruction

Class: social rank; an example of outstanding quality or prestige

The class to be worth their trust.

We are accountable and responsibility as representatives of a larger community. What we do out of our own selfishness reflect and affects everyone. The codes and rules we teach need to be internalized and incorporated into out identity, not just our behavior when we are in class or in front of a class. Its not about teaching class, its about having it.

The media is the message but he message is often lost in the media. I used to hate it when my Dad would say that it wasn't what I said but how I said it that got me in trouble. Guess I didn't like it because it was true.

Lead from the front and lead by example.

Internal identity is first incorporated and integrated through imitation of external role models.

Looking up and being looked up to.

Thanks for listening, for the opportunity to be of service, and for sharing the journey. Now get back to training. KWATZ!
Lynn Seiser (b. 1950 Pontiac, Michigan), Ph.D. has been a perpetual student of martial arts, CQC/H2H, FMA/JKD, and other fighting systems for 40 years. He currently holds the rank of Sandan (3rd degree Black Belt) in Tenshinkai Aikido under Sensei Dang Thong Phong at the Westminster Aikikai Dojo in Southern California. He is the co-author, with Phong Sensei, of Aikido Basics (2003), Advanced Aikido (2006), and Aikido Weapons Techniques (2006) for Tuttle Publishing. His martial art articles have appeared in Black Belt Magazine, Aikido Today Magazine, and Martial Arts and Combat Sports Magazine. He is the founder of Aiki-Solutions and IdentityTherapy and is an internationally respected psychotherapist in the clinical treatment of offenders and victims of violence, trauma, abuse, and addiction. He currently lives in Marietta, GA and trains at Roswell Budokan.
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Old 03-18-2008, 03:44 PM   #2
R.A. Robertson
Dojo: Still Point Aikido Center
Location: Austin, TX, USA
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 287
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Re: Courage, Compassion, and Class

"Class: a group called to service; students meeting regularly to study the same subject; a period or meeting; a course of instruction

Class: social rank; an example of outstanding quality or prestige"

Hi Lynn,

I really like the way you're using the term "class" here. I think people tend to get confused about these issues, and we wind up stumbling over ourselves a bit.

We think any attempt at "class" tends to be elitist, and yet the urge towards excellence is strong, and frequently worthwhile. It isn't about being better than everyone else -- it's about reaching for whatever is good.

Can we combine the definitions? Class: a group called to service of the outstanding, the noble, high quality, and exemplary.

Ross
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Old 03-19-2008, 09:16 AM   #3
SeiserL
 
SeiserL's Avatar
Dojo: Roswell Budokan, Kyushinkan Dojo, Aikido World Alliance
Location: Roswell, GA USA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,710
United_States
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Re: Courage, Compassion, and Class

Ross,
Yes, I think you get my combines meaning and the phonetic ambiguity.
To be in a class (group of people) demonstrating class (high standards and qualities).
Now, IMHO, thats Budo.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 04-07-2008, 02:10 PM   #4
reisler
Dojo: Aikido Bozankan
Location: Calgary
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 27
Canada
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Re: Courage, Compassion, and Class

"Courage is to be scared to death, but still be willing to do the right thing. The right thing is seldom easy, but we all already know what it is. We know what creates suffering and what creates success. Courage is to refrain from those things that create more suffering and have the discipline to keep doing the things that create success."

Hi Lynn,
Once again, you have encouraged and challenged me. I love your definition of "Courage" It is exactly where I am right now.

Blessings,

Roberta
Aikido - a kinder, gentler can o' Whoop Ass.
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Old 04-08-2008, 03:47 PM   #5
SeiserL
 
SeiserL's Avatar
Dojo: Roswell Budokan, Kyushinkan Dojo, Aikido World Alliance
Location: Roswell, GA USA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,710
United_States
Offline
Re: Courage, Compassion, and Class

Quote:
Roberta Eisler wrote: View Post
"Once again, you have encouraged and challenged me.
That's what I am here for,
to keep encouraging and challenging.

(or is frustrating and confusing that I am here for?)
Either way, I like it here.

Friends did it for me.
I am just passing it on.
I encourage and challenge you to do the same.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 04-09-2008, 07:55 AM   #6
Susan Dalton
Dojo: Greensboro Kodokan
Location: Greensboro
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 241
Offline
Re: Courage, Compassion, and Class

Lovely article, Lynn, thank you. Some years ago my shihan was talking about what it takes to run a dojo. He said something like what you say is important, but not nearly as important as what you do. I like how you expressed a similar idea: Its not about teaching class, its about having it.
Susan
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