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Common examples of unsavoury behaviour:
Believing that your self-image is the real you
Taking advantage of people
Rigid, fixed ideas about things
Expecting to understand everything immediately
The desire to control others
A lack of openness to new/unfamiliar ideas
An unwillingness to try things
Sponging off other people
The need to be right/self-righteousness
Lack of sensitivity
Thinking that everything is about you
Putting people down
Not listening to people when they talk
Competing with other people
Needing to be entertained/stimulated by other people
Lack of reciprocity
Expecting people to be accountable to you
Clinging to the known/fear of the unknown
Seeing what you want to see rather than what is right in front of you
(The list will be
different for everyone but you get the general idea?)
One of the foulest demons is the notion of 'tolerance'.
It is predicated by the erroneous idea that you are the centre of things, that your standards and values are proper and correct.
And that other people should measure up to your ideals.
This is downright absurd.
Tolerate means 'to put up with'.
Who are you to put up with anyone?
Why are you the centre around which others must orbit?
What makes you the authority?
On what basis do you assert this position?
are roads which must not be followed.
We live in an era where people are saturated by e-mails and text messages.
It may not be possible to provide a lengthy reply to every inquiry.
But unfortunately the effects of information overload are permeating all aspects of human interaction.
People are less inclined to say please or thank you.
Impatience is commonplace.
Plans have become protean, commitment undesirable and 'being considerate' perhaps a little old fashioned...
No more treating others as you would like to be treated yourself...
Consider: a person may receive many e-mails and texts without reciprocating yet expect an immediate reply to their own inquiry.
See the disparity?
Lao Tzu said: "master self before attempting to master others."
This is why the study books are useful.
Everyone has personal demons to face.
If you have no control over your own behaviour, how exactly can you hope to employ tai chi skilfully with a partner or an opponent?
Your personal demons are your responsibility to sort out.
They are not the teacher's responsibility.
The aim is to eradicate (or at least be aware of) our less desirable qualities so that we can bring forth "the better angels of our nature" and have these at the forefront.
It is a journey of increasing self-awareness.
The catch is that you have to be aware of the demons before seeking to be rid of them.
Now that is the hard part.
The sensei is not a therapist.
The goal of the dojo is to make healthy people healthier, physically and
psychologically and spiritually. It cannot be expected to repair badly
damaged human beings. As so if a member exhibits serious personal problems,
the sensei's job is to get rid of him, gracefully if possible, forcefully
and definitively if necessary.
18 April 1995
Last updated 17 September 2019