Words to the Would-be Wise Warrior
I received a note in which a sentence contained the word string, “…are supposably caring sensi their in the dojo…” What the writer actually meant to write was, “…our supposedly caring sensei there in the dojo…”
He was writing to ask about how to become an affiliate instructor in our SKH Quest network of schools and clubs. Our office team was stumped as to the best reply.
One member pointed out that we were dealing with someone who was uneducated, lazily careless, or dull. None of those three qualities are positives when considering taking on the role of teaching our technologies for how to be a powerful presence in the world.
Certainly there are plenty of ignorant, sloppy, or stupid people teaching martial arts in the world. Sure, such a person might teach a little self-defense, or maybe even some pretty effective martial violence. But our program only starts with not getting beaten in fights; real power over assailants and enemies who would shut down your life requires knowledge, initiative, and intelligence.
Another friend suggested that maybe I was being too uptight about what he called “the tiny details”. He asked if I understood what the writer meant. Obviously, since I could successfully translate and correct his sentence, I understood. “Well there you go,” my friend chided. The writer was doing OK because he got his message across to me, and the message was more important than the mere words that carried the message.
No. The words communicated a message way bigger than the desires of the writer. The words told me that I was dealing with an uneducated, careless, or dull person, and as such a person, he would have a very difficult time qualifying as a teacher in our network. Not to mention that he told me he had not even taken lesson one in our martial art. There was little encouragement I could give him.
“Yes but what if he were a truly good person, and with the right coaching, he might be a great martial arts instructor?” my friend continued.
Indeed possible. In that case I would urge him to:
- Study a remedial writing course, or at least read a lot of clear writing and notice its form; overcome lack of education
- Pay attention to and engage actively in the details; learn to overcome laziness
- Spend lots of time with people more accomplished than him; it is possible to be inspired into performing above our latent capacities
- And yes, at least get a few DVDs to see why our martial art is so different from what he was practicing.
Effective speech is one of eight qualities we need to pursue for self-perfection. In short form, when it comes to using communication to get the most out of life when dealing with others, the guiding question becomes, “What is the perfect thing to say here; what would be the ideal way to say it?” Learn to communicate in a way that produces the results you want.