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A Gentle Nudge

I always watch science and nature shows on television. As a child I sat before the television watching Wild Kingdom, National Geographic, and Jacques Cousteau. Today there is so much more available on a wider range of subjects.

One of the subjects often covered is asteroids. Asteroids present a real risk to the Earth. In fact, it may have been an asteroid (or two) that lead to the extinction of the dinosaurs.

Scientists have had to consider, what, if anything, could be done to protect us from an asteroid on a collision course with the Earth. The recent impact of a comet with Jupiter shows just how real this threat is.

Of course, most people's first thought is to send up nuclear bombs to destroy the asteroid. On several shows, scientists reported that such a plan would not work. The asteroids are simply too big. All the nuclear bombs on the Earth would not protect us, even if they all could be sent up to intercept the asteroid.

Think about it -- all the destructive force of all the nuclear bombs on Earth!

But then another scientist will say, "if you could intercept the asteroid when it is far enough away from the Earth, you would not need that much power to divert its course and make it miss the Earth." Such scientists state that a gentle nudge far enough in advance could save our planet.

"A gentle nudge" can save the Earth.

I thought about it. That is what we are as Karate instuctors. We give gentle nudges to our students. For the youth, these gentle nudges are hopefully far enough in advance to help shape their future lives, to help them avoid problems or troubles.

When a students is about to encounter a life crisis -- a crime, a serious illness or death in the family, divorce, a natural distaster -- it is too late. All the nuclear bombs on the Earth will not be enough because the events are already imminent.

But if we can give a gentle nudge to a student, perhaps years or decades later he or she will avoid committing a crime, will hold back rather than strike spouse or child, will stay out of a gang, will be prepared for challenges because he or she will have obtained a good education. What we say in class and more particularly, the example we set in class, may seem insignificant at the time. But who knows the potential consequences. Even if we never see it or know it, it may help to shape the lives of our students.

Don't wait until it is too late. A gentle nudge only works far in advance. When you see the asteroid it is too late.


Charles C. Goodin