“A man’s manners are a mirror in which he shows his portrait.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
One of the first things we learn to “better” in ourselves, when we start our martial arts training, is Respect. I say “better”, because I believe that most individuals have some “concept” of what respect is, and, possess some “measure” of it in themselves as well. Having respect for the instructor, and your fellow students is essential for harmony in the Dojo, whether in or out of class while you are there. After all, your “training” for the time you are there begins the moment you set foot IN the Dojo.
Unfortunately however, there are a small number of individuals to which it seems Respect is a completely foreign concept. You can see it in the way they conduct themselves, or interact with others. And this mindset in all probability may have been set in them from an early age. In her 1954 Poem, “Children Learn What They Live”, American writer Dorothy Law Nolte, Ph.D. wrote:
“If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.”
There is good news however, if a NEGATIVE “nature” of this important life skill is still in you, at the moment. Habits that are “learned” CAN BE “UN-learned”, no matter where you are in life at the moment. Studies have shown that it takes about 21 days to “break” a habit, and that 21 days for you can start today, WITH YOU! You see, the first person you need to learn to respect, is YOU! It may be a change in your diet, a change in your work habits, a change in what time you get to bed at night. Whatever “habit” in you that needs to be changed, start on the most pressing thing at hand first. And then work your way through the rest. You’ll begin to see a difference in how you respect others, when you begin to respect YOURSELF, most of all.