October 25, 2017, Israel
I believe every teacher begins with the best of intentions. I do not believe anyone thinks, I would like to be a teacher so I can abuse kids and humiliate them or take bribes from parents. We begin pure.
I believe every medical student who enters university and takes his seat does so with the intention of healing the sick, finding a cure for cancer and making the world a better place. I do not believe anyone sits down, opens their first medical text book and thinks....OK, my dream home and yacht are only a few years away.
Perhaps I am naive but I do believe this.
There are many fraudsters in the world but they are not willing to invest years in their education, they look for quick solutions. I know of many charitable organizations and even educational centers that were started with the sole objective of making money. Yes, charity and education are a business. Not everyone is a Mother Teresa.
Likewise I do not believe that anyone embarks upon years of martial arts training with the goal of making money. Anything involving that much effort must have some conviction. I do not believe anyone can get through medical school or earn a black belt without actually being passionate about their field of study.
The question is what happens down the road. We start well and good and pure, but how do we finish? What happens to us along the way? How many great teachers have been corrupted?
We are human and this means by definition that we are flawed, we have our weaknesses, we have challenges in life, challenges and struggles. When a police officer is making a few dollars an hour and someone offers him $1,000 to look the other way, well, he might think, I am not going to put an end to crime so why not take a little something home for my hungry family, don't I deserve something in life?
And so it begins. Our downfall begins with giving in to one little temptation.
The doctor begins good and pure but then his secretary accidentally overcharges a client, or the drug company, or the medical insurance. Easy money....the "good life" awaits us.
And then it becomes difficult to get out, to return to our pristine state.
We become prisoners of the money, we are running towards the door, we want to escape but we cannot. Last thing I remember I was running towards the door, trying to find the passage to the place I was before, relax said the nightman, we are programmed to receive, you can check out anytime you like but you can never leave. (The Eagles)
We become prisoners of our own device.
The business side of martial arts soon becomes the only side. Many grow tired of teaching, tired of caring. Pure teachers become corrupt businessmen. Meetings become more about marketing and less about finding effective solutions to violence, less about empowering children and more about corporate takeover.
I think my friend Hal expressed it well (and inspired this blog)
Too many instructors and school owners can too easily fall into the “instant rank advancement” trap and follow the lure of more income without really thinking about the consequences. At the same time, as unfortunate as it may be, far too many instructors and school owners focus on income and not what they are really providing.
I hate to say this but in many instances this is much like politicians….Many (if not most) go into it thinking they will stick with their values, ethics and try to get things done “the right way” no matter what…..After a while the vast majority succumb to the almighty dollar, become followers (“sheep”) instead of leaders and commence to sell whatever the public will buy…..
(Hal Herndon, Head Instructor, Georgia Mountain Krav Maga)
Well he's telling us this
And he's telling us that
Changes it every day (Joe Walsh)
My goal is to take it to the limit, to finish this life the way I started it, pure.