“It was his fault!” “No, it was HIS fault!”
Such was the conversation at the end of Sunday’s aikido children’s class. We were getting ready for the final bow. The kids were arguing over who sat where in the circle. Sensei asked “Do you want to have problems that get solved? Or would you rather have problems that never go away?” The question distracted the children from their bickering for a few moments. They became quiet and thought about the answer. They agreed on this, at least: they all wanted problems that got solved.
So Sensei began to explain how if we always project blame onto other people, we were creating for ourselves a world in which problems are never solved. Instead, an endless cycle of blaming goes on. If we begin to take responsibility for our actions, and for doing the right thing, then we are on our way to solving problems. It all begins with taking responsibility for our own actions, rather than looking around placing blame or feeling like we’ve been “wronged.”
Technique can be very abstract. It is not often that a child will need to execute a throw, or a pin. Yet the greater lessons that aikido offers can be applied every day—at home, in school, in sports. We encourage parents to listen to some of these spontaneous discussions, and feel free to weave them into your child’s life throughout the week if the opportunity arises.