Machiavelli, that enduring political philosopher and writer, asked a pivotal question.
If you’re a ruler of society, is it better to be feared or loved?
He equivocated a little, but finally, he settled on fear because it’s more predictable and reliable, and less fickle than love.
A kindred question was asked by Plato in his famous Dialogues:
“Does might make right?”
If you lead an army and you believe that day is night, will you be right, because of the force of arms?
The martial artist believes the opposite to be true: That right makes might.
If you read John Teramoto’s translation of Gichin Funakoshi’s “The Twenty Guiding Principles of Karate,” you’ll see that one of the key points the Master made is that “Karate stands on the side of justice.”
Teramoto & Funakoshi point out that: “Human beings are at their strongest when they believe they are right.”
If you doubt the rightness or justice of your cause, by the same logic, you’re in a weakened state. Anyone with stronger conviction, even if it is induced by drugs or by membership in a gang, can defeat you.
Let’s expand on this thought.
If you are in the right, serving justice, but you don’t know it, or you’re unsure about it, will you also be in a weakened condition?
Probably so, and the obverse applies.
The bad guy, who lacks virtue, who stands for injustice, will be stronger than he should be if he is, however wrongly, convinced of the rightness of his cause.
Therefore, the martial artist must always: (1) Know what virtue is; (2) Convince himself that he is actively pursuing it; and (3) Not hesitate to uphold it.
To the extent he does these things, he’ll be mighty and effective.
Dr. Gary S. Goodman is the best-selling author of 12 books, over 700 articles, and the creator of numerous audio and video training programs, including “The Law of Large Numbers: How To Make Success Inevitable,” published by Nightingale-Conant-a favorite among salespeople and entrepreneurs. For information about booking Gary to speak at your next sales, customer service or management meeting, conference or convention, please address your inquiry to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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