Live Your Life

Live Your Life

Writers write, so they say, and I enjoy writing. Perhaps this blog comes out a little too often but, writers write. One of the joys of writing is when you hear back from the readers and when you find out that something you wrote touched them and made a difference in their lives. My late father, of blessed memory, used to write letters to the editor, often expressing how much he enjoyed an article. He told me that even the writer needs to know someone is enjoying his writings. Dad said that each letter written represents one hundred more that people wanted to write but never made the time for it. My dad, as a thoughtful man, took the time to write.

Recently I received the following letter as a comment on my blog "Krav Maga Passion"

Hi Moshe,

Hope you are well.

I just wanted to comment on your Jan 2 blog on Krav Maga passion... What you wrote about the KISS albums and JDL made me smile. Years ago I read a line that said roughly: "Life is too precious a gift to be squandered on anything less than perfection."

Now one may quibble with semantics in regards to the attainability or desirability of "perfection;" and I will certainly allow that the common understanding speaks more to its inaccessibility by our very nature. But at the same time, I am constantly surprised that while the above statement agrees with me as easily as common sense, my friends with whom I discuss it, almost unilaterally, dismiss it with nearly as much force as I embrace it.

Anyway... too often lately I have found myself in the middle of the street, as Mr Miyagi would say. For the first time in my life, I find myself taking steps back, climbing out of the fire of passion that has always been my raison d'etre. Because, for the first time in my life, my fear of what that fire demands has overwhelmed my desire to live inside of it. I don't know if you've ever spent any time in the middle of that street, but let me tell you, it's no place to visit, much less live. Everything is so... drab. Coated in this... well, like a mud that covers every inch of everything. The buildings. People. Laughter. My heart. Nothing claims its beauty by sight. Nothing begs its beauty by touch.

I've asked myself lately, What do I fear more? The demands of the fire or the drabness of this middle of the street? Your blog made me realize I was asking the wrong question. The real question is, What do I love more? What do I desire more? There's no question there. Life is much to precious to be squandered on anything less. Thanks for the nudge, Moshe.

And thanks for living your passion.

Peace.

J. R.

Sometimes the greatness of the writing is in the reader. I have often written things as they come to my heart but only after reading people's comments do I realize what I have actually written. Then I reread what I wrote and I finally "get it". The reader is part of the creative process of discovery.

So I will continue where my Reader turned Writer left off.

How many of us truly live everyday? I was discussing this with my nephew Tzvi the other day. He is in the process of recovering from a serious illness and yet he is grateful. He has discovered a new happiness and just as he could never have imagined the pain of his sudden and unexpected illness, he could not have imagined the happiness he is experiencing now. I told of him of a guy I heard about who said the best day of his life, in retrospect, was when he was run over by a car and lost his leg. Since then he has lived with an appreciation of every day, a joy and a zest for living. He takes nothing for granted and is always in a happy mood.

We spend so many years learning math and technology but so little time learning the art of living. Martial arts and life are one and the same; the old advice of Mr. Miyagi (based on a real man, Miyagi Sensei), don't live your life in the middle of the road, make a choice, decide what you want to do and man, go for it!

We live in fear for the most part. We are afraid of failure, rejection, ridicule, and so we do nothing. The late great Rabbi Noach Weinberg of blessed memory once said to me, "You are on a plane, you want to speak to the person sitting next to you but you are afraid, 'what if he does not want to talk to me, (yes, Harry, I know some people do just want to be left alone on the plane but some of us like to talk). So, talk to him. What is the worst that can happen? He will say he does not want to talk? OK, no big deal, nothing lost." But imagine that your fear of saying hello may have caused you to lose a potential life long friend or business contact."

Are we really living to the fullest? Are we doing what we want with our lives or are we getting crushed like Miyagi's grape in the middle of the road?

Years ago I heard a tape on how to live. A man says to his therapist, "I want to go to college"

Therapist: "So go!" (Great advice; which is why people pay them so much darn money!)

Patient: "But I am 30 years old, I work full time, I will have to go at night, it could take ten years?"

Therapist: "So?"

Patient: "In ten years I will be 40 years old!"

Therapist: "And how old will you be in ten years if you don't go to college?"

Patient: "Forty years old. How come the same?"

Do you want to go to college? So go! Helen Keller did and she was deaf, dumb and blind! Do you want to learn Krav Maga? So start training. It is not too late.

My friend Tracy says crushed grapes make good wine, OK, but not if they are the victims of being run over by a car! If you choose to make wine, great, make wine but put your soul into it.

One more movie story. I love the film "Ramen Girl", in it the American girl is learning to make the Japanese Ramen dish but something is lacking. The master takes her to a real master, his mom, who lives way up in some remote part of Japan. She gives the young student advice, "Pour your heart into your ramen dish. Whatever your emotions are put that into your soup. It must have soul."

Live your life with passion, everyday is a gift, every friend is a gift, don't let it pass away like fallen leaves in the wind. Live! Live.

Related blog/ Ramen Girl, Smash the Cell Phone

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