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Scales at the Gate

This is story.

A 10th degree black belt in Karate was standing at the gate of heaven. The angel who guarded the gate sat next to a large pair of scales, balanced by a golden chain.

"Welcome to heaven," said the angel. "Can you tell me a little about yourself?"

"Well," said the judan, "I am a 10th degree black belt in Karate. A hanshi, shihan, grand master... I mean great grand master. I know more than any other Karate instructors. Basically, I am the very best, if I must say so myself."

"Great," said the angel. "Let's put all of those things on the right scale. Anything else?"

"Well, I've won hundreds of awards, been inducted into numerous Halls of Fame, been featured in countless magazine articles, appeared on a dozen television specials, and had a special day named for me in my home town...."

"Let's add them too," said the angel placing the accomplishments on the right scale, which by now was overflowing and hanging down to the ground (cloud). "Is that it?"

"I would say so," said the 10th dan proudly. "Looks like my accomplishments weigh quite a lot!"

"They certainly do," agreed the angel. But this is not merely a contest of sheer weight, it is one of balance."

"What do you mean?" asked the 10th dan.

"Well, we put all your worldly accomplishments on the right scale and then we put your character accomplishments on the left. They have to balance."

"But I'm a tenth dan!" argued the 10th dan.

"Yes, that's on the right side along with your other worldly accomplishments. Let's talk about your character."

"And I'm a hanshi..."

"Got it. Character."


"Check. Character"

"Great Grand Master..."

"It's in there. Character."



In the End, your character is what speaks most loudly about you.


Charles C. Goodin