Sunday, April 15, 2012

Mr. Miyagi and My Theory of Life

It is a life lesson that is often the hidden to one's own eyes until either a moment of epiphany or brought to your attention. In this case it was a little bit of both and from a couple of different sources.

My favorite book, one that I usually read once a year, The Way of The Peaceful Warrior, by Dan Millman, is a continuing source of knowledge for me and inspires me to be a better person, father and husband. It is the story of a young man and his journey of discovery. Although not a favorite movie, but inspirational, all the same, The Karate Kid, and it's wise old teacher, Mr. Miyagi, have always offered something when taken into the context of my favorite book.

The best scene in the movie, from my point of view, is that when Mr. Miyagi begins training the ever-so-naive Daniel Larusso. It is in this scene that Mr. Miyagi sets Daniel out to wash the cars using a certain method that will be used in the future of his fighting technique. When asked if he is ready to begin, Daniel responds, "I guess so", or something similar. At this point Mr. Miyagi sets him down and begins the lesson- that which will tie into my passion for the novel mentioned earlier.

Mr. Miyagi uses a metaphor of walking down a road safely and juxtaposes that with training for karate. To paraphrase, and take quite a bit of liberty with the script, he says that walking the left side of the road- safe. Walking the right side of the road- safe. Walk the middle of the road- squish like grape.

Now, when it comes to training for karate, that is a very useful piece of advice. You are either committed, not committed, but not somewhere in the middle. It is EXACTLY the same with life, and this is the tie to The Way of the Peaceful Warrior. But it is not as clear in how to train for life. Life, after all, is not a spectator sport.

There will be more on this and will be a theme in many posts to come. Do you get it?

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