Reacting versus Responding

Reacting versus responding to situations is actually a heavily layered topic, and one’s capabilities to navigate the subject vary greatly depending on time and place. One unique component is in regards to culture. So much of our life perspective is based on the familiar habits of finding our place in the larger social group context. The status quo is powerful, and the horizontal craving of acceptance often dominates the majority of one’s actions. This occurs so much so, that rocking the boat is extremely difficult even when popular opinion is bankrupt in virtue.

However, a positive culture can also inspire and uplift. On the martial art journey, the group culture of warmups, drills, and pattern synchronization consistently helps beginners adapt to a heightened sense of focus and gain skill advancement through technical immersion. These kinds of drills also help wake a person up from their isolated daily grind, by naturally setting those concerns of the day aside while one feeds off the energy of the group in the moment of the particular task.

Balance in all things once again is apparent, and while group culture can often be corruptible through focus on habitual reactions of the echo chambers, the natural competition of the individual striving for their own excellence in terms of performance is undeniable. This is why I have always had respect for the martial art culture. One must always prove virtue through performance, technical understanding, and respectable attitude, yet must also work harmoniously with peers. Even while they try their best to defeat you, one’s ability to respond with quality actions will add positive energy to the tribe.


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