This time, Chris, an adult karate student, will talk about truth and Dojo Kun number two. Last time, he discussed number one and human standards. Chris has trained in traditional karate for about a year and a half.
J: What is the literal translation of Dojo Kun number two?
C: It’s important to keep on, or guard, the path of sincerity, or truth.
J: Do you prefer “keep on the path,” or “guard the path?”
C: I prefer “guard,” because I’m a martial artist. As such, I have been enlisted to be a guardian of the path of truth. I train and become stronger so that I can protect higher ideals.
J: I’m glad you take that seriously.
C: Martial arts has done a lot for me. It makes me a better person. Or really, it allows me to make myself a better person. It’s my responsibility to take the Dojo Kun seriously: to protect its values and to represent and promote them in the world.
WHAT IS TRUTH IN JAPANESE?
J: Would you explain the word for “truthfulness” in Japanese?
C: Sure, the kanji, makoto, has two halves. The right side means to complete or succeed, and the left means spoken words. Together, they mean “to complete the spoken word,” or truth.
J: Like “do what you say…”
C: Do what you say and say what you do. There’s no room for talking big. Unless you back that up with big action.
J: It must be important to you to keep your word.
C: It is. I believe the old adage: a man is only as good as his word. If you back up what you say with matching actions, then people will know they can trust you.
TRUTH IN DAILY LIFE…
J: How does guarding the higher standard of truth play out in daily life?
C: Well, you already know I take my word seriously. I expect it from my wife, too. If she says that she’s going to, say, paint the living room, I will truly expect her to do it. Talk isn’t cheap in our house.
J: I see.
C: And if she tells the kids that she’ll get them frozen yogurt if they help, then they see that treat in their future when they help her. They can count on it. And even if she was too tired to go get it, we would hold her accountable. Believe me, they hold me accountable too. We are like each others’ truth support group.
J: You expect your kids to hold up the truth too?
C: Oh yeah. I mean yes. I try to find examples they will understand about why it’s important to tell the truth. Particularly with us, their parents. But more important than talking about it, is being a good example. If they see me keeping on a path of truth, they will learn how to do the same. It’s like anything with kids. We are their role models.
J: So true…thanks, Chris
By Jenifer Tull-Gauger