Survival is the foundation of endurance;
complete triumph is the endgame.
Survival and Complete Triumph
The warrior has to learn to endure life’s hardships and pain, but having to endure hardships is not an excuse to lower your standards or to lose your honor. There is a right way and a wrong way to do everything. Turning to dishonest acts and justifying them by blaming them on your circumstances is merely a cop out. This is not the way of the warrior, but rather the mindset of the criminal.
On the other extreme, you have the ultra passive school of thought which basically states that it is better to die than to ever harm another person, no matter what the circumstances. Khalil Gibran stated, “If my survival caused another to perish, then death would be sweeter and more beloved.” Again, this is not the way of the warrior. There are times when your survival may require that you do harm to another person. While the true warrior never wants to hurt or injure anyone else, he is certainly willing to do so if his hand is forced.
If his survival depends on his using martial arts skills to defend himself, then he is certainly justified. The philosophy that there is never any reason to harm or kill another human being is for monks or priests – not for warriors. Someone has to be willing to stand against evil in a proactive way, and that someone is the warrior.
The warrior lives somewhere in between these two extreme philosophies. His philosophy, concerning enduring hardships and surviving what life throws at him, has to be balanced with the code by which he lives. Surviving life’s hardships does not mean lowering your standards or temporarily shelving your principles. It means using your principles to overcome the hardships you are facing and turning those hardships into a victory in the end. Bohdi Sanders ~ excerpt from MODERN BUSHIDO: Living a Life of Excellence, pg 95
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