Shihan Brian Cyr – The Academy of Martial Arts – Founder
(an act of helpful activity)
We live in a service oriented society. We sell our services to an employer in exchange for capital that we then use to purchase the services of others. Even when we think that we are buying a product, that item is the end result of the services of other people. Over the past generation; however, there has been a trend to de-humanize the service base of our society.
Throughout manufacturing, employees and employers have been separated from one another into faceless units. The retail industry mostly consists of conglomerates that employ thousands of people across the country; yet show no real interest in the local communities that they serve. That which was once considered service has been replaced by the convenience of self-service: drive through windows, automated tellers, and computer banking have made most of our daily lives quick and painless; but at what cost.
Although there are contemporary examples of true service, I am drawn to the Samurai of ancient Japan to examine that, which is now a rarity in our society. The word, Samurai can be translated as “someone who serves”; however, this service was to a person or more importantly a cause that was greater than the individual. The concept of the purpose being more important then the person was the foundation the Samurai. To them service was not an item of convince, it was not easy, self-serving, or quick nor was it impersonal. It was however rewarding in ways that few of us ever experience today.
“You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give.”
“I have the consolation of having added nothing to my private fortune during my public service, and of retiring with hands as clean, as they are empty.”