We are approaching Christmas. Yet war rages in the heart of Europe and in the lands that are the center of spirituality for billions of people. And in dozens of other states, more or less forgotten by the media.
A quote from the John Rambo movie has always impressed us:
You know what you are… what you’re made of. War is in your blood. Don’t fight it. You didn’t kill for your country. You killed for yourself. God’s never gonna make that go away. When you’re pushed, killing’s as easy as breathing.
It impressed us because it is true. Of course, physically the vast majority of us have never killed anyone. But the poison of war flows in our blood. Are you not convinced?
See how you react if a guy cuts you off. If someone puts a label on you. If someone hurts you in your interests and affections.
But everything about us wants to be…left in peace. It’s funny that “leave me in peace” is a sentence we say annoyed and angry, when rather it is the request for the greatest gift.
A quote attributed to Morihei Ueshiba goes like this:
The Art of Peace begins with you. Work on yourself and your appointed task in the Art of Peace. Everyone has a spirit that can be refined, a body that can be trained in some manner, a suitable path to follow.
So here are three simple moves. Three antidotes to the poison of war. Three indications for building a new me.
First: let’s find something that allows us to work on ourselves. We always expect others to make the change we would like. And in the meantime we forget to live our lives, pretending to enter the control room of others.
Second: if we work on ourselves, sooner or later many spaces for improvement will pop up. It is strange that Ueshiba first speaks of a “spirit that can be purified”. So, the second move is to accept our internal dimension and start cultivating it.
Third: since we are not just spirit, if we want a change, we must also work on our material dimension. Here too, the words used by O’Sensei make us reflect. He doesn’t talk about sculpting our body. He doesn’t point to the six-pack as the goal. He talks about a body that “can be trained in some manner”. So: improvement and not unattainable perfection.
The tragedy of our era lies in the distance between desires and reality. We would all like to be “left in peace” but what do we actually do to get to that condition?
Aikido – like other disciplines – represents a possible “suitable path to follow”. In fact, it allows you to work on yourself in both dimensions, physical and internal. And since it requires continuous confrontation in pair and group work, it brings out talents and gaps, character qualities and rough edges.
A path that is designed and structured to offer all bodies – and the people who inhabit them – “some way” of training them.
Because if everyone likes peace, we need to find a tool that everyone can use to build it with daily commitment.
Disclaimer: Picture by Artem Podrez from Pexels