Today, I had a conversation with one of my student’s parent. She asked me, “What can my son do to pass his black belt test”? This is a legitimate question and as I was explaining to her what was expected and what her son needs to do, I’ve come to the conclusion that, ultimately, it’s up to her son on how he performs on his belt test. Now I know a lot of you have an idea what taekwondo is and how it’s practiced around the world. The style of taekwondo that I practice is vastly different from what you are thinking. In our style, both children and adults are treated the exact same. That being said, your black belt is earned, not bought. Anyways, that conversation got me thinking about society as a whole and how we’ve become soft. As I explained to her that it’s ultimately up to her son to earn his black belt, she agreed, and told me that she would help push him to doing his best. Upon exiting the facility, I thought more about the conversation. I began to notice how out of shape everyone walking past me, then I saw a homeless man sitting in front of a restaurant and thought, “how ironic is that”?, then I started to think about we’ve become soft as a society. Anyways, the conversation lingered in my mind and I began to think about how ungrateful we really are. For example, the homeless dude. Here is a man who is homeless and quite possibly hungry. Did I stop to help a brotha out? Nope! I kept right on walking, “minding my own business”, as did the other fifteen or so people behind me.
It’s sad really. Is it my fault he got to that point in his life? Hell nah! I’m just saying that I could’ve at least made his life a bit less shitty by lending a hand. Why? Cuz I could’ve just as easily ended up where he was. Lord knows, that if the shoes were on the other foot, I’d have a few choice words for everyone who ignored me. Regardless though, we walking passed that man really puts into perspective of how much we really take for granted. Think about it; you’re gonna go home and have yourself a nice dinner right? And once you become sated with your meal, you’ll either toss your leftovers or “save” the rest for later. Only for it, not be eaten and have to be tossed out anyways. Thereby, taking for granted the fact that you had a home-cooked meal that night. It doesn’t really stop there either. As a whole, society has become weak. Everything offends us; we want to be accepted as we are instead of working to improve ourselves. We want a quick fix for everything. We get sick, take a pill. Depressed? Change our lifestyle for the healthier? Nah take a pill. Have a Dream? What are those?! I want my success now! It’s quite frankly, exhausting!
What can you say though? This is the results of living in peaceful times. Yes, we are living in peaceful times. How can you tell? Well for one, your ass isn’t being shipped off to a world war. Sure we have “The War on Iraq” and have soldiers putting their lives at risk for our “freedom”, but there isn’t a draft to send you over there. No one is here dropping bombs and shit. You can literally walk down your street with fear of a bomb being dropped on your head. So yeah, I’d say that we are living in peaceful times. As a result, we have to deal with issues such as, “attack” on free speech, trans-rights, supposed “oppression”, the whole “me too” movement, second amendment debacle, and various other non-issues. We’re soft! Literally and figuratively; we are one of the most obese nations on earth, we’re easily offended, and anything you say will literally get you ostracized by society (looking at you Roseanne Barr). It’s our fault. We’ve let society dwindle down this rabbit hole and now we are seeing just how deep the hole goes. But we can fix this. With a little personal responsibility and a dash of common sense, I think we can right the ship. But then again, I’m placing my faith in the very same people who think it’s OK for a man to literally become a woman (Jokes people! ‘Tis joke).
Here’s a podcast version for your audio pleasure! GOTR Podcast: We’ve Become Weak As A Society. Therefore, We Take Things For Granted.