Worth More Than Money
Yesterday evening I got paid. Having practiced aikido since 1971 I have often found myself frustrated, confused, angry and even doubtful of whether I was really making any progress or making an impact in the art and science of aikido. In my estimation aikido has really changed over the years. We have gone from one splinter group to a perpetual pile of splinters since the early 1970s. Although much of aikido philosophy emphasizes harmony I have witnessed much more division than I ever expected. I have heard aikido described as everything from a martial art to a dance form. Really! I have often wondered why I continued to practice and whether I would ever get anythiing out of this. Am I making an impact? Well, yes! I did and I am. Last year I had the pleasure of seeing two of my former students/class mates whom I had not seen since 1965. One visited my home on his way to his annual holiday and the other attended the annual International Aikido Association seminar. We all had been members of the Witham Academy of Aikido in Essex, England. Yesterday evening they both stood in my living room and spoke of how much I had influenced their decision to follow the same path. As we talked many wonderful memories flooded my mind and brought me to the realization that whatever small contribution I made to the art was not in vain. Master Koichi Tohei once said "Little and often makes a heap in time". This is true. So I am resolved to continue to do my little bit as often as I can to perpetuate the growth of aikido. You see, the growth of my students and their appreciation and respect for the art is worth more than money; and during their visit to my home I received payment for my past efforts. So, I encourage everyone who practices aikido, for whatever reason, to continue for there is a great light at the end of the tunnel. In time you too will get paid.