013) November 23, 2008: Thanks & Giving
Aikido is a form of budo. Budo is about protecting our personal communities. Our communities starts with our families, expand to our network of friends and outward to thecommunities that we live in. We need to actively work on keeping our communities safe and strong. Without these communities, what is their to protect?
As we prepare for Thanksgiving, we should take the time to reflect on our lives and the community that we live in. We should step back and thank our loved ones for allowing us the time that we put in to our Aikido training. This is time that we are spending away from our loved ones. We need to recognize and thank them for allowing us to train. The goal of our training is to make us better people and our thanks given to our loved-ones is part of this process. We can display our thanks in how we live our daily lives. Are we truly acting in a more peaceful and centered manner in our daily lives? This is a process that we can spend our lives improving upon!
Making our community stronger stronger means to give back to our community for all that we enjoy about living in our communities. Charity is an important part of making our communities stronger. We are only as strong as our weakest links. If we do not work on helping those less fortunate than us, then our communities become not only weaker but more dangerous. Giving can mean helping someone seeking directions, calling for help when someone’s car breaks down, to a greeting and smile to everyone we interact with.
Part of Aikido training is to gain a greater sensitivity and awareness of the world around us. As we become aware, we will easily see to whom and how we can help them. We will become aware of who we should be thanking for us having the “space” we to become better people.
I hope that all of us can us Thanksgiving to reflect on all that we do have. Even in difficult times, we still have things and people to be thankful for that help us to be better people.
Marc Abrams Sensei