July 23, 2015, Israel
We live in an era where new is good and old is bad. If you have an iPhone from the previous generation, i.e. a few months ago, you are passe, "out", some people will hardly be able to relate to you, let alone communicate with you.
I find that the term "old" descends upon us faster and faster each year. When I am told my computer is old, I respond with, "I have only had it a few years, how can it be old?"
An old book is a book written a hundred years ago, or at least a generation ago, an old movie is from the 1950's.
But old lessons, they still retain their value, their relevance, their crispness. We must never forget them.
At the end of the day as I lay my troubled head down on the pillow I say the same words that my mother taught me as soon as I was old enough to barely speak. Yes, the same exact words. Before I cross the street I remember the words I learned as a child who could barely get around, "Look both ways before you cross", as I drive I can my mother saying to my late father, "Not you!! Keep your eyes on the road, I am pointing out the sites to the children. focus on the road."
To this day I cannot look to the side as I drive, focus on the road.
And these words, these lessons, along with many others, have kept me alive to this day.
Lets think about that for a minute, shall we?
The common sense lessons I learned as a child have saved me far more than any Karate or Jujitsu technique. My brain has saved me far more times than my body. But what happens in class? What happens in martial arts training?
We are all looking for the physical. Heaven forbid you should interrupt the hard core training to discuss self-defense, and, an uproar, "you are ruining my rhythm, my heart rate is going down, I came to train dammit!"
Looking both ways before crossing the street has saved me many times from being hit by a car. Looking both ways before making a decision in my life has saved me from great trouble, headache, and expense.
Look both ways before you make a decision, what will be the ramifications and results of this hastily made decision or promise?
Lets face it, using our brains before using our bodies is the intelligent way to defend ourselves, as Mr. Miyagi said, "Best defense, not be there".
Do not forget that old guys have a lot of wisdom to share.
Yes, those old guys had some good wisdom tips. The tough training guy looked pretty cool but the old wisdom one out in the end, as it always does.
Sometimes it is the soft spoken one who has the most to say. Sometimes words are more powerful than actions. This is not an alternate to physical training, do not misunderstand my point here. But mindless training will not prepare you for battle. Infantry without maps, cameras, spies, and intelligence will not succeed. More men were saved by the genius Alan Turing who was behind breaking the Enigma code in World War Two than by the toughest, bravest combat soldier.
So sometimes stop and think, before you act or train. Look both ways before crossing the street. No matter how well built you are, no matter how strong you are, you are still not stronger or faster than the oncoming bus.
Think about it.
Sometimes a random word of advice, a hug by a stranger, a smile by a child, a song, or ...a blog, can make the difference in our lives, can give us the strength to move forward.