The way of energy and harmony

In listening to ‘Emotional Intelligence‘ by Daniel Goleman I came across an anecdote about a man, who had studied Aikido, encountering a hefty belligerent drunk on a subway train in Japan.  The drunk was in a rage, and was lashing out at people, knocking a woman holding a baby to the floor. As the man stood to confront the drunk he was reminded of the words of his teacher:

“Aikido is the art of reconciliation. Whoever has the mind to fight has broken their connection with the universe. If you try to dominate people you are already defeated. We study how to resolve conflict, not how to start it.”

At that moment a small elderly man called out “hey” in a friendly voice to the drunk. He asked the drunk what he’d been drinking, “sake” was the response. He proceeded to tell the drunk in a friendly voice how he and his wife liked to drink sake each night on an old wooden bench under the persimmon tree in their garden. “I’m sure you have a wonderful wife too” said the old man. “No” said the drunk “she died”. He launched into the sad tale of losing his wife, his home, his job, and being ashamed of himself. As the aikido expert was leaving the train he heard the old man asking the drunk to come out with him and tell him all about it. As he turned to leave he saw the drunk sprawled out on the subway seat, his head in the old man’s lap.

To me, that is Aikido.

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One Response to “The way of energy and harmony”

  1. Cody Clark Says:

    Found your blog while looking for this story online. You seem like a kindred spirit. Glad I found your blog.

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