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Ueshiba Aikido e-Reflections
ISSN 1712-2341
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August 14, 2012

"As soon as you concern yourself with the 'good' and 'bad' of your fellows,
you create an opening in your heart for maliciousness to enter.
Testing, competing with, and criticizing others weaken and defeat you."

Ueshiba Morihei O Sensei

It is not easy to reserve or hold judgement; to be patient and compassionate. It is easy to criticise, pass judgement, blame, ridicule and be opinionated. In the name of justice we sometimes lash out, to put another down and rationalise those actions later. What if later you found out you were wrong?

The truth is we will never be privy to the full picture or the whole story. Based on this alone, it is never wise to criticise, judge or ridicule another. It only reveals the character and attitude of the person delivering the criticism.

What is equally difficult is to be on the receiving end of the insult, abuse or the judgemental criticism. The challenge is to receive it calmly and to continue to be cheerful and smile. After all, if the criticism is not based on truth, then it should not matter. However, the hurt is there all the same; compounded by the fact that it may be coming from a friend, revealing their true character through their unkind reaction and criticism.

It is a challenge to look through peaceful, compassionate and non-judgemental eyes when someone wants to attack you. When someone is hurling abuse and yelling at you in public, remain calm without hitting back and it will be clear who the aggressor is. Looking through peaceful eyes also provides a clarity that would not otherwise be there through angry and vengeful eyes. The saying goes for couples: "Never let the sun go down on an argument."

If there is a parting of ways, be compassionate and think positively of the situation without assuming the worse or criticise the character of the person departing. Unless the person is being let go or fired, you will never know the full reason for the person wanting to depart. Even in exit interviews, people tend to want to criticise and say the worse about everything not realising how much of themselves they are revealing.

It may be simplistic in thinking, but leave happily and positively, without criticising your boss or colleagues. At work, I say "hi" every morning even to the grumpy cleaning lady and the garbage man. You will never know when you will need their help. This has proven true time and again; even with that difficult boss or colleague. Be wise, mature and professional. Not always easy...

Enjoy the sun, and see you soon in the Dojo!

In peace and harmony,
Rafael Oei Sensei.

(© Copyright August 2012: Rafael Oei)

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