Sunday, September 28, 2014

Share in the Fellowship of the White Belt

Jigoro Kano, the founder of the martial art of judo. Kano's story is a lesson of inspiration and motivation for every student of life.

Kano possessed an extraordinary willingness to learn. He sought out the nearly defunct martial jujitsu and modified it to incorporate modern sports principles, creating the art of judo. It became the defense system of the Japanese police and was the first Eastern martial art to be accepted in international competition at Olympics.

Kano was so focused on learning improved techniques in all walks of life that he found new and better ways for the island nation of Japan to educate its youth. He became known as the father of modern Japanese education. Kano was well respected in athletic, social and political circles worldwide.

Just before he died, this world-renowned martial arts expert called his students together. As they congregated to hear the final words of their judo master, he announced, "When you bury me, do not bury me in a black belt! Be sure to bury me in a white belt!"

In martial arts the white belt is the symbol of a beginner - an apprentice who has many things yet to learn.

What a lesson in humility and teachability! Each of us, regardless of our ranking in life, must become a lifelong learner. Whether you are a CEO, a pastor, a secretary, a parent, a child, a leader or follower - under all of your roles, always wear a white belt.

Even if you are an expert in your field, continue to value learning. By continuing to learn, you will continue to be an expert. As soon as we stop learning, we will begin to stiffe and atrophy!

(From Wayne Cordeiro's "Attitudes That Attract Success")

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