Friday, November 11, 2011

Bushido a great strength?

Bushido is my greatest strength and my greatest weakness?

I studied a martial art for two years. Jishukan (Honbu) Jujutsu, brown belt (bridesmaid not the bride - always a brown belt never a Dan).

But in that time I spent a great deal of time studying Japanese warrior culture, and I have since learnt that China has a strong warrior culture, too.

But I was taken, then, by the code of Bushido - the way of the warrior. That honour comes from putting your all into service. For the Samurai, that service was towards the lord - the sama of the moment. In response the lord would show impeccable fairness, honesty (with themselves and others) and loyalty. Well, that's how I saw it.

Some may disagree, but I'll argue that I have approached my work life from that perspective. I have worked to hone my tools of battle as well as I can, and have showed loyalty to those who have cut me a break and been pure of motive.

Fair enough, "Cullen Habel loyalty" can sometimes not be all that fun but I promise you I'm playing on your team. Even if I'm storming into your room, shutting the door and telling you how I see it, I am your samurai. Sorry if I'm just the Aussie version of it.

I thank the lord for my wife, who seems to see it in a similar way. I suspect the friendship is getting stretched, but I'm working on that.


But I sometimes get caught out. A growling match that ends in "well let's just call it off". That's a little foreign to me. As Rod Tidwell said to Jerry Maguire: "you think we're fighting, I say we're finally communicating"

But back to the samurai thing. A good warrior needs a good lord. And perhaps my error has been to tie in too firmly, perhaps too easily, and perhaps with the wrong people. But Kerry Packer would disagree: "I believe you offer loyalty to everyone which is not as big a strain as it sounds, because few people actually pick it up".

And just as Kerry was considered an a/hole at times then so, too, am I - by some. Because when those who fail to accept (or don't recognise) my loyalty see me retract it, and then I'm the bad guy.

And I've lived Bushido with my employers too. As a sales guy you truly are a warrior. Back in the plastic bag days a customer of mine buying from Wes Kiss would tend to mean less food on my family's table. Now Wes works for my old company and we're fine, but once mortal enemies. The way of the samurai. I've always considered myself a warrior for my current employer. It's never particularly hurt me.

But sometimes one ends up a ronin, a samurai without a master. I try to avoid that when I can, but sometimes it's not my choice.

Kerry on Loyalty:

"The quality or characteristic which I think I have learned from my father and other people who have influenced me, which I think is important, is loyalty. You have to give loyalty in order to receive it. I believe you offer loyalty to everyone, which is not as big a strain as it sounds, because very few people pick it up. It's a two-way street. It's looking after one's friends when it is inconvenient or difficult for you to do so. Anyone can look after someone if it's no problem, but it's real loyalty when you have to choose between something which you wanted or wanted to do, and their need. Then you have to choose to serve their need. I believe that's above everything else. You kid yourself if you think you can buy loyalty. You can't. You earn it through consideration and through being there when other people need you, regardless of what other commitments you have. I believe that you've got to be true to your beliefs, loyal to your friends and be a winner."

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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