May 29, 2017, Israel (began in Gmünd, Austria) (edited May 24, 2023)
We are all wonderful, and we come in different sizes and shapes.
And yeah, yeah, God is great.
Yeah, yeah, God is good.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
What if God was one of us,
just a slob like one of us,
just a stranger on the bus trying to make his way home? (Eric Bazilian)
I think the world is for everyone. Now that might seem rather obvious but at no point in our cruel history was that obvious. In fact, at any given point there has been some ruler, some empire, some nation who felt they had more of a right to life than others. Many actively sought to eliminate undesirable races or people practicing certain religions.
Do you know what the Romans thought of the Britons? Barbarians! perhaps slightly higher than beasts of the field. And the Druids? The Romans had them slaughtered. And what did the Germans think of the Slavs? Those who believed they were part of a superior nation felt that others are there at best to serve them, at worst to be eliminated "for the betterment of mankind."
Others feel that life is a matter of the survival of the fittest, such is life, the weak and old shall die. But we have never felt this way; the weak and old are to be respected and taken care of. Those of us who are fortunate will someday merit to be weak and old.
The video for the song "What if God were one of us" (Eric Bazilian, performed by Joan Osborne) shows ordinary people in the background. It is filmed mostly in Coney Island, Brooklyn. (where my dad used to hang out as a child). This is very unlike other musical videos. Usually, we see very attractive young people, women with "perfect" bodies and those who have sculptured their bodies into works of art by endless hours in the gym plus plastic surgery. The background images for this video are very .... ordinary people, and suddenly today it hit me. What if God were one of us? What if God were just a slob like one of us?
just a slob like one of us,
just a stranger on the bus trying to make his way home?
Just trying to make his way home, back up to heaven all alone.
Nobody calling on the phone,
Not to put any of us down but most of us are pretty ordinary. We look like those people in the background. There are images of overweight older people enjoying the beach and guess what? They no longer possess "beautiful" bodies. They would certainly not be chosen for Krav Maga websites, but they are indeed beautiful, for who they are, for the lives they have led, for the scars they have gained.
And I realize, we are all slobs trying to make our way home. We are struggling through life. We are all less than perfect and always striving to improve. We are all lacking in some way. We are those slobs in the background, we are not the perfect people in the magazine.
For me Brooklyn, and Coney Island, have nostalgic value. I remember arriving in Brooklyn, alone and broke, walking down the street, going from store to store asking if someone is looking for a helping hand, a young man willing to work hard. I needed a few dollars to pay the rent. Working in a basement packing nuts and dried fruits. Just a slob like one of us. Later I was "discovered" and landed a job working as a Special Ed (Education) Teacher. I worked in a "bad" part of Brooklyn with some of the most unsavory types of people, I walked among the "slobs". Taking the bus home, just a slob like one of us. Coming home to a broken-down rented apartment, going to Karate classes at the Oyama dojo in Manhattan, the memories.
Subway stations, endless waiting for your train to arrive, hoping to get a seat, trying to make your way to work, or home, and the homeless slobs who live in the subway, what if God were among them, can we feel their pain, their hopelessness, just a slob trying to make our way home, what if God...
We are just ordinary people seeking something more out of life, I think that "more" comes from feeling the pain of others, the slobs, the poor people just trying to make their way home, the people struggling through life, physically and emotionally. Feeling that pain and trying to do something about it, that is the "more" we can get out of life. The image of God living as a mortal among us, truly feeling our pain and our struggles, what if God were one of us, just a stranger on the bus, trying to make his way home. Images come to mind of myself on the bus, on the lonely subway ride home surrounded by a motley crew of other slobs...trying to make our way home.
That is why IKI Krav Maga is designed for everyone, for the fit fighter and the less fit older person. For the perfect athletes at the top and the rest of us (99% of the population). In the end we will all be those less than perfect people in the background and we all have a right to life.
New York subway, many years ago, trying to make my way home....
We come in all sizes and shapes, IKI Gemund, Austria, young and fit fighters with some older and less fit. IKI Krav Maga is for all of us.
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