Anybody who actually wants
to be a Black Belt must surely not understand what it means to be one.
It is a cause, a cross to bear, a
responsibility, and an obligation. It is a banner that advertises that the wearer is committed to serving the needs of others.
It is an invitation to deny one's
own needs and step outside the self. It is a moral straight jacket that takes away our nonchalance and casts us in the role
of teacher, protector, guide, and role model. It asks us to guard every word, and every action so that we do not betray its'
Take up the belt and one must take
up all it represents. Reject it and one must relegate ones' self to the pitiful condition of those who gape in horror at the
atrocities of society but do nothing.
Taking up the belt means never again
being a casual observer when an intolerable situation exists. It means never again being silent when wrong is committed or
people are being oppressed.
Psychologically, when you put on
the belt you cannot take it off again and just be who you want to be when it is convenient. You must wear it every hour of
every day for the rest of your life, and you must be who the belt demands that you must be. From the day you put it on nothing
but truth must ever come from your lips, and nothing but honor and dignity must ever be manifest by your presence.
From that day forward you must never
dishonor another, and cannot shrink from your obligation to assist others in need. Unless a person has a back and legs strong
enough to carry this burden they should not pick up the belt, but if you do pick up the belt do so with the knowledge that
it will lead you to places where others cannot go and you will see vistas reserved for the few, and life will be an experience
well above the ordinary.
Well why should I be considered
for Black Belt? I can think of no logical reason why I should. The only thing I have is the desire to learn more. If
I am promoted to Black Belt the rest of my life will be a struggle to live up to its' expectations. But then the belt won't
really be for me. It will be for those students who have yet to come in the door, and all those who are watching my progress,
wondering if they can achieve it too.