What I find hilarious about some people is their certainty that they are in the right about something they have little to no experience with. These are the same people that spend much of their time judging others’ ability and life experience based on superficial things like age.
The warrior knows better.
The warrior knows that even the most gentle person may carry within the ferocity of a tiger. A tiger knows they can disturb you enough with nary a look that strikes to your delicate core while they walk away. They’ll go achieve something important while you’re left wondering if they’re stupid. One may think they’ve won though they weren’t even playing the game.
Musashi and the Oar reminds us that delicacy often goes much further than force. This is another thing reinforced when practicing the life-giving sword. Fragile egos are something dispensed with by the serious practitioner. Without the ego, one is truly open to experience all aspects of reality instead of living in a fantasy world.
Those who live in reality tend to be more successful in all areas of life. Those who don’t, envy them. If one spends all their time refusing to deal with their own weakness, they will never achieve the things they desire. Everything around them seems unfair because they aren’t willing to dig deep to do what is necessary.
A seed is protected by a hard outer shell. It remains hard until planted and watered. The delicate sprout within will burst through the softened shell. Most will not survive the harsh wind. Of the few who do, only some will grow into robust plants able to fully carry out their purpose. It’s a hard life as a plant.
Fortunately, as humans, many of us have greater control over our own success. We have the choice to whine about the people who are successful, to let our jealously of their success overtake us, or to see what we can learn from them to further our own progress.
Even a writer such as E.L. James knows something I don’t when it comes to producing a book series. I may dislike her writing, but it doesn’t change the fact that she IS a best-selling author. I don’t have to agree with her work to know that she has something to teach.
Of course, it can be hard to open up oneself enough to learn from someone you don’t respect. I wasn’t good at it at all in the past. Today, I find that if I learn even one thing that can level up my skills, it’s often worth it. This is part of why I have friends from all over the political spectrum and from so many different lifestyles. It gives me far more information about every issue rather than sitting in a circle in some vacuous silo.
The beginner’s mindset is one of total openness. That’s not to say one should forget everything they do know, but to use a delicate approach when letting anyone know you know some things. Delicacy can help one use the proper level of respect and that goes far with many people. I have to admit, I screw up here sometimes. I’m still working on this. The people I have difficulty with are few and far between, yet I still work to improve because it’s important to me.
A delicate touch also changes depending on who gives it. It’s also quite a different thing when that touch is from a sword as even the most gentle of touches with a 2-3 foot razor can cause lasting damage. That’s why the preference to keep swords sheathed and resolve conflicts without ever drawing.
As an Iaido practitioner, I HAD to mention swords…
There are times to be soft and times to be hard in martial arts. The warrior knows when to use which and how to apply that knowledge to other facets of their life.