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Principles of Black Belt in Action

Principles of Black Belt in Action

It was 4:30 p.m. on a Wednesday afternoon. I was teaching my class when the parent of one of my students ran into the school, yelling, "Mr. Fariborz, Mr. Fariborz".

I responded quickly to her call and asked her what was wrong.

"There is a car accident outside and two of your kids are in the car," she said.

I immediately ran outside looking for the accident. A car had smashed into the car that my students were in and the two kids were still inside. The mother of one of the children, who also happened to be the driver, pulled one of the kids out while I managed to pull the other one out. Little Thomas was covered in blood and very frightened. The other kid, Brian, was crying and looked really scared. I started to clean Thomas's face, as I talked to both children to calm them. Brian was extremely brave and pulled himself quickly together after realizing he was OK. I accompanied Thomas to the hospital, since his parents were not there. All the way to the hospital, I remember Thomas asking about Brian and what had happened. He had a great attitude the whole time. Once we got to the hospital, the doctor cleaned Thomas's face and prepared to stitch his wound. I remember holding Thomas's hand, watching him grimace in pain. We started talking about the Student Creed and Principles of Black Belt, and it was amazing to see how well he remembered both of them. It was then, for the first time that I felt like a father. Suddenly, the Student Creed and POBB meant so much more than mere words. By the

time we were done, the doctor had finished the 12 stitches on Thomas's face.

It only takes one experience like this to get you thinking deeply about your own life. Suddenly, the things that occupy your mind every day seem a little trivial compared to the bigger questions, the deeper issues, the fundamental essence of who and what you are and why you're here. It’s not always a car accident that opens the door to an expanding experience. I've had the same feelings while climbing the face of a wall in Malibu, or hearing the news that the woman I loved the most is to be married. I've had them looking up at the sky, filled with thousands of stars, one cold night, while listening to the music of Cusco. I've had them watching my Black Belt candidates walk through a candle-lit pathway to receive their Black Belts in an auditorium filled with people, as I told myself, " They will never forget this."

It is during those times of deep searching, of expanded perspective, that we begin to establish what Roger Merill calls "VIP CONNECTION." "VIP" stands for the principles involved - VISION, IDENTITY and PURPOSE. He also calls it "VIP" because he believes that you and I and everyone else in this world truly are "Very Important Persons," each with unique talents and great contributions to make.

VIP is that inner connection that hooks us up to our own deepest values and possibilities.

These are sobering times, meaningful times, often great times. When you really come to grips with your inner self, you feel as if you are on top of a mountain and the things you deal with every day are somehow smaller and more in perspective. You can see where you're going. Maybe you can even see the path to get you there. I've seen this in the eyes of all students who start as a White Belt at TKC, with the dream of becoming a Black Belt. But the vision doesn't last forever. You get caught up in the routine of daily living and find your dream slipping farther and farther away from your conscious awareness. Before long, if you don't have some way to keep it before you, or if another perspective expanding experience doesn't come along, the connection is broken and the vision becomes almost totally obscured. The challenge, then, of keeping that connection strong becomes the challenge of capturing the vision and keeping it before you on a regular basis. I believe the single most effective strategy to accomplish this purpose is a written creed or a personal mission statement. A mission statement contains three basic elements. The first is what you want to be - what character strength you want to have and what qualities you want to develop. The second is what you want to do - what you want to accomplish and what contributions you want to make. The third is the

values and principles upon which your life is based.

With this in mind, I encourage you to relearn the Student Creed and make an effort to use it in your daily life. I would also like to thank Thomas and Brian for being my teachers and allowing me to learn so much from their lesson.

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