“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
— Lao Tzu
“It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority.”
— Benjamin Franklin
Once again life has supplied the choice of this week’s tenet for discussion. In this case, the related pair that share one place in the list of 7 Tenets; Respect and Obediance.
Respect • 경의
Obedience • 복종
re·spect noun \ri-ˈspekt\
: a feeling of admiring someone or something that is good, valuable, important, etc.
: a feeling or understanding that someone or something is important, serious, etc., and should be treated in an appropriate way
: a particular way of thinking about or looking at something
obe·di·ence noun \ō-ˈbē-dē-ən(t)s, ə-\
: an act or instance of obeying
: the quality or state of being obedient
(I’m terribly behind in my posting so I’m going to post this prematurely as a place holder and to at least get it out on time. My thoughts on the subject are in my head but just not quite getting to my fingers at this moment.)
Respect and obedience take on a very complex and different perspective when you’re an adult. We start out as children with a very prescriptive version of “respect”. Respect your parents, respect your teacher, respect your Scoutmaster, respect your elders, respect the police, respect G-d, and so on. As kids, respect is only slightly differenced from fear and unquestioning obedience to authority.
With time and experience comes the revelation that true respect must be earned along with the notion that it is possible — even desirable — to question authority. By desirable I don’t mean the ’60s anarchist version of Question Authority(tm) but the kind of reasoned skepticism advocated by Ben Franklin: “It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority. “
As adults we, hopefully, recognize that we are responsible for which figures we recognize as authorities worthy of our respect or our obedience; whether those figures are individual people, professions worthy of respect, or wholly abstract authorities like the law. With this recognition also comes the realization that we sometimes need to show respect (or at least its poor cousin, deference) to people we don’t respect because they hold positions that we respect in the abstract. Sometimes we have to respect the title even if we don’t respect the title holder.
But there is another, more subtle, aspect of respect that bears consideration and that’s the respect between peers.
(to be continued…)
Exercise on this day: Ahneso Phakuro Cha Gi: 32 Kicks (L&R) · Ahp Cha Gi: 32 Kicks (L&R) · Tollyo Cha Gi: 32 Kicks (L&R) · Yup Cha Gi: 32 Kicks (L&R)
Last week had some frustrating events that suggested that Self Control might be the tenet to discuss next.
Self Control • 자제심
self–con·trol noun \ˈself-kən-ˈtroll\
: control over your feelings or actions
: restraint exercised over one’s own impulses, emotions, or desires
This week’s exercise in self-control involved remembering that the trooper who issued me a summons for driving a vehicle with a suspended registration was not the one responsible for the administrative snafu that got it erroneously suspended in the first place. Not the trooper, not the DMV minion who neglected to send out any notice of suspension back in June, not the guy who answered the insurance line at DMV and immediately lifted the suspension, and not even the state’s attorney I’ll have to deal with in court in a couple of weeks to get the bogus charge dismissed.
As easy as it would have been to go off on any of them, there would be no point in it. Somebody at DMV made a clerical error, it cost me some aggravation and a couple of days of work. It’s not the end of the world and I’m not going to let it waste any more of my time and energy than it absolutely has to.
Exercise on this day: Ahneso Phakuro Cha Gi: 32 Kicks (L&R) · Ahp Cha Gi: 32 Kicks (L&R) · Crunches: 16 · Leg-raises: 16 · Push-ups: 16 · Squats: 16 · Tollyo Cha Gi: 32 Kicks (L&R) · Yup Cha Gi: 32 Kicks (L&R)
I had thought to write about each of the 7 Tenets of Tang Soo Do one per week in order but Perseverance found it’s way to the top of the list this week all by itself. This is probably a lesson in itself in that the 7 Tenets are all equally important and the order they are listed in isn’t necessarily important.
Perseverance • 인내
: the quality that allows someone to continue trying to do something even though it is difficult
: continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition : the action or condition or an instance of persevering : steadfastness
W.C. Fields quipped, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There’s no point in being a damn fool about it.” Likewise, Albert Einstein wrote, “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. So when is perseverance a good thing and not a sign of insanity? Continue reading Perserverance
Exercise on this day: Crunches: 14 · Leg-raises: 14 · Push-ups: 14 · Squats: 14
“Victory is reserved for those willing to pay its price.”
— Sun Tzu
New Year’s is traditionally a time of making resolutions about the future — most of which are never achieved or even actively pursued. Making abstract resolutions is easy. Making them concrete realities is hard.