“Why do some stay?,” by Rick Berry

“Many more leave than stay. That’s a given. The hard work and seemingly small reward would be daunting to even more of they knew how truly tough the training is. A comment made today at my student’s jujitsu class was ‘we train hard so we can deal successfully with the stresses, trials and tribulations of life.’ I disagree. But why do some stay?”

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  1. and the other side of this…


  2. Not only is this essay written in such a pleasant, readable way, but it also addresses some extremely essential issues. As far as what I read somewhere, perhaps in a psychology text, some people enjoy a “do-good, feel-good phenomenon.” I remember philosophizing with a few friends over coffee at Aristotle’s Coffee Garage in Tallahassee. I was possibly haunted by the ancient philosopher and his belief in the greater power of nurture (environment) over Plato’s argument for nature (modernly DNA). I asked a really intelligent friend if true altruism can exist. He said “No” before I could blink. I asked him this while in the midst of writing my only novel to be published, as the chapter I was compiling touches on similar subjects. His sharp “No” left no room for argument; I had already agreed with him deeply, despite opening my surface mind before my question and his answer.

    I don’t know much about famous “altruists” like Mother Theresa, but I can make a good guess that she enjoyed what she did. If people start thinking about “carrying crosses” and total self-sacrifice, raw anger will snowball over time and often cross some threshold into hardcore danger. I am thinking of the Virginia Tech shooting, and how the murderer claimed to “carry the cross.” I suppose he carried thirty or so of them. It is natural for a human being to want to feel pleasure and avoid pain. An example would be that when saying or doing something, no matter how trivial, that makes people feel good, also makes me feel good. Otherwise, I wouldn’t say it or do it.

  3. …can only speak for myself. i came (in 1974) to refresh my fighting skills in a situation that seemed to require them. as the brunt of bullying in my youth, and 20 year resident of an urban neighborhood, continuing to preserve even improve my martial skills is an attractive proposition. that said, aikido is just REALLY fascinating…

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