In the beginning, I was thrilled to be the new Organizer for the Martial Arts Meet Up Group in Orlando. The thought of bringing in so many of the best teachers was very exciting. It was an opportunity to give others the gift of learning something new. It was a great opportunity to meet some of the elite teachers in Florida and world-wide.
The prior Organizer did a remarkable job for many years and deserves a great deal of credit. However, do anything long enough and you become a bit burned out and tired. This was certainly the case (understandably). As such, I volunteered to carry the torch and in the first 4 months brought in over 10 new seminars. There was excitement and a sense of freshness in the air. The feedback was fantastic.
In addition to organizing new seminars, I also set up a Google page and revamped the Facebook one. The cost went down from a couple hundred dollars to $0.
Out of the blue, someone just decided to take over. No notice. No warning. No respect.
Initially, I was a bit upset. I do not handle being disrespected well and such was certainly the case here. It was a bit ironic, given the fact that martial arts and respect should go hand in hand. Obviously, not everyone got the memo.
Nevertheless, I decided to do something different. Historically, I would have “plugged into” the problem and undoubtedly made it worse. Mind you, that has never worked out well for anyone but for reasons that escape me, I had a habit of doing this.
This time I decided to do something differently. What I did was. . . . . . . nothing.
Yes, nothing. Zero. Nada. Nyet.
Wu Wei at its finest.
I simply walked away, saying nothing.
Much to my pleasant surprise, non-action was the best action. My school is thriving. I am more focused on my Systema, both teaching and building my own skills, than ever before. Mostly, I feel relieved and happy. Very, very happy.
Funny how simple situation can be some of the most powerful lessons. This one certainly fit the bill. Regardless of how another treats you, you always have the options of responding. . . or not.
In the past, I viewed walking away as a sign of weakness. Now, I understand the depth of the power inherent in non-action.
There is also the beginning of the understand of compassion. People who do things that can be viewed as “disrespectful” or “thoughtless” are like everyone of us, in some degree of pain. Perhaps their business is suffering and they need to increase their revenue. Perhaps they were disrepected and never “updated” their behavior. There may be 1001 different reasons.
Regardless, when we recognize the suffering in any situation, the entire scenario changes. Compassion replaces any feeling of hurt or disrespect. Others matter and thus, non-action becomes the best action.