Week 30: Wednesday – Lessons from the Dojo


“A gentleman is one who considers the rights of others before his own feelings and the feelings of others before his own rights.” – John Wooden

“There is joy for those who deal justly with others and always do what is right.” – Psalm 106:3 (NLT)

Samurai Virtue Number 3:
Seigi means righteousness or justice in moral and ethical code.

Last 2011, the world was shocked with news from Japan. In a span of a week, it seemed that Japan was falling to pieces. Disaster after disaster hit them; a typhoon in Sendai followed by nuclear fallout in Fukushima. The devastation caused in these events was considered the biggest calamity in the past 30 years. Amidst all this, a story of a small boy touched the hearts of millions of people.

The story was that there was a Vietnamese-Japanese police officer who was sent to a grammar school to give out relief goods for the victims. Standing to the side, he noticed that there was a 9 year old boy who was standing near the end of the line. It was winter at that time, and all the boy was wearing was a t-shirt and shorts. Feeling a burden for the child, the police officer went to him and tried to talk to him. The boy said he was in the middle of PE when the earthquake happened. When asked about his family, the boy responded that he saw his father’s car being swept away by the tsunami, and that their house was near the beach so his mother, sister, and grandmother were probably dead. While recounting this story, the child had to look away and wipe away his tears.

In the process, the police officer noticed that the boy was shivering, so he handed him his jacket. The police officer’s food ration fell out of his pocket. In an attempt to help, the police officer tried to hand the kid his food ration, saying that the relief goods might run out when it was his turn to receive them.

The boy took his food and bowed. Thinking that perhaps he would want to eat it immediately, the police officer was shocked that the child went to the front of the line. To his surprise, he saw the little boy take the food ration and place it on the table where all the goods were waiting to be distributed. Shocked, the policeman asked why he gave his food away. He asked, weren’t you hungry? Do you not feel cold and thirsty? The boy responded that he did. However he said,

“Because I see a lot more people hungrier than I am. If I put it there, then they will distribute the food equally.”

The boy went back to the end of the line, and the policeman was left wondering how a society was able to produce a child with a heart so big that it left an adult crying.


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