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I Get Credit For...

My three sons are much taller than me and also much stronger. My second and third sons (aged 21 and 17) lift weights at home. Sometimes I will try to lift their weights which are always much too heavy for me! Honestly, my sons can lift as much with one arm as I can lift with two arms!

My sons will often laugh when I struggle with their weights. I always say, "That's OK, I am your father so I get credit for the weights that you lift."

If my sons can lift a great weight, that is to my credit. I am happy for them. They are my sons. If they are strong, I am proud. I get the credit.

On the other hand, if they were weak and lazy, I would get the blame for that, wouldn't I? So I should get some credit for their strength.

And I must be pretty strong because I can tell them, "lift this, or lift that," and they will do so.

Of course, I am sort of joking.

In the dojo, there are students who are stronger than me, faster than me, remember the kata better than me, move more efficiently, move more dynamically, etc. I am very happy for them. I get the credit (a little). If they moved terribly, wouldn't I also deserve the blame?

My point is that I celebrate the accomplishments of my children, and I celebrate each and every accomplishment of my students.

I want my children to be better than me in every way. Shouldn't they do well with the support of their parents and their extended family members? If they do well, I am happy.

I want the same for my students. If a student can surpass my Karate ability, I should be happy -- not threatened or insecure. Only a good instructor can produce students who surpass him or her. That is our job. We should never limit our students by our own limitations.

If I see a student perform a kata beautifully, I am more happy than if I performed it that well myself... just as I am happy when my sons lift heavy weights.


Charles C. Goodin