Karate Thoughts Blog

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The other day, I noticed that my 13 year old daughter was wearing a name tag when I picked her up from school. She explained that all students have to wear the name tags and that if they don't they are punished and required to pick weeds around the school. I quickly replied that this is what is wrong with schools today.

Picking weeds around the school should not be a punishment. Students should feel a sense of pride in their school and welcome the opportunity to pick weeds. Making the school neater would reflect positively on all of the students. Picking weeks is a duty, an honor -- it should not be a punishment.

But today, picking weeds is a punishment. I went to a center. I won't mention its name. Beautiful exhibits are presented there, but the grounds are poorly maintained. There are weeds and muddy spots. How can beautiful exhibits be shown inside when it is ugly on the outside? Why don't the workers also maintain the grounds? Is it because picking weeds is only suitable as a form of punishment? Is it because a groundskeeper is supposed to do it? If I went to such a center, the first thing I would notice is the state of disrepair of the grounds. That would be my first impression.

At our dojo, we ask the students to sweep and mop the floors, clean the mirrors, and make the dojo neat. This is not a punishment. When we clean the dojo, we feel like we are cleaning ourselves -- not only our bodies but our minds as well. If we can make the dojo clean and neat, we can also be clean and neat ourselves.

When someone visits our dojo, the first thing they will notice is how we keep it. If it is dirty, that will be their first impression -- of the dojo and of us.

Cleaning and picking weeds should not be considered a punishment.


Charles C. Goodin