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Self-Improvement

A Way To Look At Life

There is a story written by Joe Hyams, about Mr. Ed Parker, the founder of American Kenpo Karate. To me, it spells out the meaning to life. I'd like to share it with you:

"I once had the opportunity to exhibit my fighting ability in front of Mr. Parker. My sparring partner was a friend of his who soundly beat my every move. I resorted to sneaky tactics and underhanded actions in order to get some points during the fight, but my opponent was always already in position to defend himself from my attacks."

"After being completely embarrassed by the fighter, Mr. Parker asked me to come to his office. He closed the door and proceeded to draw a line, about 2 feet long, in chalk on the floor. He told me that the line indicated my sparring partner's abilities. He asked me how I could make the line shorter. I came up with a number of ways, including erasing parts of the line, or cutting it into pieces."

Mr. Parker shook his head and with a quick movement, drew a line about 3 feet long next to the line already drawn on the floor.

"Does the line look shorter to you now?"

I nodded. "Yes, of course," I replied.

"Mr. Parker said, "If your abilities extended past your opponent's, then the line would seem shorter. Rather than attempting to cut another's line, extend your own."

A Few Other Quotes:

"To transform the world, we must begin with ourselves; and what is important in beginning with ourselves is the intention. The intention must be to understand ourselves and not leave it to others to transform themselves...This is our responsibility, yours and mine, because however small may be the world we live in, if we can bring about a radically different point of view in our daily existence, then perhaps we shall affect the world at large." -- Krishnamurti

"When the artist is alive in any person, whatever his kind of work may be, he becomes an inventive, searching, daring, self-expressive creature. He becomes interesting to other people. He disturbs, upsets, enlightens, and opens ways for a better understanding. Where those who are not artists are trying to close the book, he opens it and shows there are still more pages possible." -- Rober Henri, The Art Spirit