This week, the mini-lesson is responsibility. Responsibility is the state of being the person who must deliver on or answer for a promise, task, or obligation. When someone asks you to do something & you say you will do it, & then you actually deliver on what you said you would do, you are showing good responsibility. On the other hand, if you do not deliver on your promise, you can still show good responsibility by accepting the blame for that outcome. Being a responsible person is an important part of excelling at martial arts & at life. Let’s take a look in a bit more detail.
Outside of the dojan
Whether you know it or not, you have several responsibilities at school. The obvious 1 is your assignments & grades. You are responsible for doing your assignments & for achieving acceptable grades. This part is up to you & your work ethic. You are responsible for this outcome, & if you do not achieve it, you need to accept responsibility for that outcome & not make excuses for it. If you commit to improving next time, you are still showing good responsibility.
Less obvious responsibilities include setting a good example for others & practicing the other life lessons we teach. You may never know when someone else in a more junior position (maybe in a lower grade or your younger family members) is watching you. If you act silly or show bad behavior, then it will not be surprising if they follow along. You are partially responsible for that behavior by the example that you set.
Inside of the dojan
The question we always need to answer here is “What does this have to do with karate?” You are responsible for your karate training. We are the instructors & we do have a big role to play in your training, but we do not follow you home & make sure you are remembering Korean terms or practicing forms so you do not forget them. You should remember that you are in the karate training – nobody else.
Whomever is sending you to karate training has given you the task to learn karate & is trusting you to do that. It is really up to you to take your training seriously by wanting to come to class in the first place & making it a priority, by coming to class on time, by not disrupting class while you are training, & by giving your 100% best effort during class.
Why is responsibility important?
The more you meet your stated obligations & deliver on your promises, then the more freedom & trust you will gain from others. You will become more trusted. You will be rewarded more often because people trust you to deliver on your obligations.
Ultimately, this is how you grow into an adult & stay growing as an adult. For example, if you deliver on those high grades over & over again, then you will likely be given more freedom in other parts of your life, like more screen time or a later bed time, because you are showing that you can be trusted to get something done.
At the same time, if you fail to meet an obligation or do a task you said you would, you must accept the blame for this outcome. If you instead make excuses, then you are not showing good responsibility. This isn’t good because you are then not committing to make the changes needed to grow as a person.