Denial

I have often wondered why some people seem to be natural-born victims. I think a lot of it comes down to denial. Denial is based on the trait of self-delusion. Many refuse to believe in the imminence of approaching injury or the possibility of their own death at the hands of some perpetrator. Often we look at others through our own eyes and often we cannot accept the fact that others may not see and feel the same way as ourselves. It is naïve not to realize that there are different people who think differently. Before the world was exposed to the horrors of the Holocaust there were those would refuse to believe in a network of murder factories killing Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, communists and Jehovah’s Witnesses.

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Etiquette

One of my students asked me about respect and whether he should refer to me as sir. I am not particularly touchy how a student addresses me. I have been called sabonim, sir, instructor, Dave; to me it makes no difference. As a martial arts instructor I know that etiquette and respect cannot be taught. The way I carry myself and conduct my teaching is how I show etiquette and respect. Over time I can endower respect but it is not something that can be enforced in my opinion. Respect is something that comes from the heart.

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Lies

I was away working on a New Zealand Ministry of Health project. I had checked into World Wide Backpackers hostel on the Terrace, in the heart of Wellington, for 2 weeks. On the weekend of the rugby 7’s tournament the landlord, by the name of Andrew Manson, told me that I had to leave the accommodation. He told me that if I do not leave the accommodation immediately he would call the police. The landlord did not give me a reason why I had to leave or a reasonable amount of time to pack all my belongings and did not refund me.

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Meaning

I am very fortunate to have an acute perception of people and cultures having lived and worked in several different countries. I have taught martial arts to white, African American, Latino, Asian and Polynesian people. I have had kids with special needs; I have had people with brain injuries train under me. Whatever difficulties anybody had I was able to develop their potential and help them achieve their goals in martial arts. To develop the character and sensitivity to be able to work and adapt to different individuals is not an intrinsic skill, it is something that can only be developed through experience.

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