If in our daily life we can smile,
if we can be peaceful and happy,
not only we, but everyone will profit from it.
This is the most basic kind of peace work.
– Thich Nhat Hanh

On my way home after a delightful three and a half hours of training yesterday – the kind you float away from – I stopped by WalMart to pick up some cat food. One of the greeters (actually working the exit), a guy in about his 70s, who seems to always be there, called out to a woman leaving as I was walking in, “Are you happy?” “Do you know it?” “Well then, clap your hands!” So, great… Now I had that song stuck in my head. LOL But it was great to be able to answer for myself, “Yeah, I really am!” As I was shopping, I smiled at people, and they smiled, too. :-) I asked a taller clerk to get something down for me, and then later I helped a shorter woman who was struggling to reach cereal at the back of the highest shelf, and she went away smiling. Everyone seemed to be in a good mood. On a Monday. At 10 p.m. Shopping at WalMart. 

When I first started training I lamented that it would take generations, if it could ever happen at all, to get a large percentage of people participating in Aikido, or something like it – something that can change one’s experience of the world, and the world itself, for the better. Sensei told me something about it only taking a few people – not everyone… I don’t remember how he put it. But last night an image came to mind: mixing dye into a big container of water. It only takes a few drops to dramatically change the color of all the water. Go out and be those drops.

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This quote is about rattlesnakes (and countries), but I like it from an Aikido perspective, too:

“She never begins an attack, nor, when once engaged, ever surrenders: She is therefore an emblem of magnanimity and true courage…she never wounds ‘till she has generously given notice, even to her enemy, and cautioned him against the danger of treading on her." 

~ Benjamin Franklin

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