Friday, June 20, 2008

The Karate Kid

Do you remember the sweet movie, "The Karate Kid?" I watched part of it on TV last night. I have always loved that movie!

I particularly resonate with the part of the movie where Daniel, the teenage boy at the center of the story, has made a deal with Mr. Miyagi to study Karate under his tutelage. Daniel quickly becomes frustrated when each day, he shows up to study Karate, and is instead instructed by Mr. Miyagi to do various projects around his house and yard. Mr. Miyagi has him wash and wax all his old collectible cars, paint his huge fence and sand down a rather immense expanse of a deck.

Daniel finally explodes in anger, feeling that he has been taken advantage of by the older gentlemen.

Then Mr. Miyagi reveals that all of the seemingly unrelated tasks that Daniel has been doing have created the building block and foundational moves he will need to be a good fighter in Karate.

Daniel is amazed at all he actually knows. It wasn't at all obvious to him when he was washing, waxing, painting and sanding that he was being prepared for a greater purpose.

This is how it often goes in life for all of us. Many times we don't understand why we have to do some of the things that come in to our life experience. Often we don't want to do those things. Sometimes they are unpleasant. Yet, each experience we have, can in some way prepare us for our future, or cultivate some skill or strength of character that will serve us well in other contexts.

It is important to keep that perspective as we journey through life and to always look for ways that our experiences, even the unpleasant ones, can serve us in achieving our goals and living the life we aspire to live.

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