Our society suffers from too much selfishness<br>But we can overcome this by working in three directions
First of all, lets consider the attitudes and forms of behaviour by some individuals (!) which spoil our day and obscure our vision:
* Problems which are created elsewhere and are not our fault, but with which we have to live
* The effrontery of certain competitors who copy our original concepts
* Si-Fus (unfortunately including some in our own association) who misuse the authority of the title we have awarded them to exploit their trusting students· Instructors who bend to authority but kick those below them
* Dogs in the manger, who will not allow others to get ahead even though they themselves are not prepared to do the work involved
* Those who offer advanced techniques to students with lower grades – who are unable to make use of them in practice – as a means of stealing a march on a colleague in a neighbouring town, possibly to take impatient students from him or to remain competitive because the neighbour started this in the first place
* Calling ones own technical creations "authentic and secret Chinese techniques" rather than what they are, namely the product of desirable personal creativity, thereby creating confusion in an attempt to attract members from other EWTO schools
* Those who always stare at the problem of "competitors" like a rabbit before a snake, instead of looking at their own strengths about which the competitors ought to be far more worried. For why only see the problem, rather than focus all your attention on the solution in true WT manner? The answer is: teach your students honestly and with humanity, and help them to achieve their goals!
* A "Master" and Ex-national instructor who forges EWTO examination certificates and produces his own instructor certificates (the latest example is attached – the misspelling of "Mittelstufe" to read "Myttelstufe" in the grading box of this student certificate gives the game away).
Looking at all these and getting down to the essence, we discover that one force in particular is in the forefront, namely selfishness.
Some like to benefit from the clear advantages of belonging to the EWTO, but do little for their association themselves – in fact they will cheat both it and their students if short-term profit is to be expected.
As in all areas of our society, selfishness and its ugly sister materialism have substantially gained control. The willingness to make sacrifices, philanthropy and a sense of the common good are the enemy, while decency and ethics are often lost along the way.
Personal benefit is the most important value for selfish people. Living better, longer and easier – that is the aim. More money for fewer duties and more enjoyment with less responsibility! More senior grades gained more rapidly, more money for less work. More, more, more; faster, faster, faster; gimme, gimme, gimme; me, me, me! But whatever you do, dont share new knowledge with your colleagues, work for the benefit of others or even take risks on their behalf! If you are successful it is purely due to you, not to decades of hard work by the EWTO, which has prepared the ground with pioneering efforts, publications, PR, advertising, training seminars and academic activities.
Every little technique and every combination which they believe they have discovered for themselves – because they are applying the principles correctly, as one might expect of a teacher – is considered to be purely a product of their own uniqueness and ingeniousness as "martial artists". So they keep it secret and accuse anybody who dares to show it without asking of plagiarism. At the same time ignoring and forgetting the fact that they themselves knew nothing before they started learning from their own Si-Fu. Gratitude is seen as unnecessary sentimentality. Accordingly the website or DVD mentions neither their Si-Fu nor the EWTO, and BlitzDefence becomes their own creation.
Selfishness is a powerful basic urge shared by man as a two-legged, three-brained creature. Only three institutions in history have been successfully able to counteract it, namely religion, the community (whether tribe, social group or state) and the family. Occasionally these three have been able to keep a moral lid on the self-interest of the individual.
These three gave a meaning to life. They were the foundations on which the culture and civilisation of the western world grew and blossomed. Selfishness – no matter how far it might get the individual – could never have built Greece or Rome.
But nowadays God, the community and the family have been consigned to the old peoples home. Even there, belief, religiosity and spirituality have often been checked in at the wardrobe, or are hypocritically carried before us as lip service, like a shield giving us cover while we exploit the easily swayed even more effectively. At the same time some shameless individuals suck the blood from the EWTO like bugs, rather than pull in the same direction and strengthen our community. And the family disintegrates. Individualism wherever you look. Selfishness is in vogue.
How can we counteract this, or is the EWTO merely a mirror of our modern society of which it is a cross-section?
Similar things have happened throughout history.
"The souls of our citizens are becoming sensitive", Plato (427-347 BC) observed on the subject of individualism in Greece, "so that they become difficult and cannot bear it if somebody attempts even the slightest compulsion. Neither are they any more concerned about our laws, either written or unwritten, and no longer wish to be answerable in any way."
And Americas greatest historian, Will Durant, noted the following about selfishness in Rome in his 11-volume "Story of Civilisation": "Sexuality ran free, while political freedom decayed."
Almost sounds familiar. Unfortunately these are not forms of behaviour which ensure the creation and preservation of a large community.
Perhaps we should occupy ourselves with all the smoke and mirrors that spoil our day and cloud our vision, rather than try to cast an eye on the current condition of the EWTOs roots.
The first step towards healing is to recognise that one is ill. It is then necessary to find the causes of the illness and – as Confucius tells us – start with ourselves.
My diagnosis may sound negative, but I am by no means resigned, have not given up and feel no bitterness, for a new spirit of solidarity is becoming increasingly obvious, and particularly among the younger generation of school owners! Through discussions at seminars, during our university coursework and by e-mail, I have personal contact with a large number of good, honest school owners for whom the student is at the centre of their efforts, not only selfish motives.
These positive examples give me hope, for they have recognised that their own success – including business success – will follow automatically if the focus is on the person who really counts, namely the student.
If our selfpurification process will be successful and word gets around that the efforts of each individual must go in three directions simultaneously (!), our work with WT will be even more enjoyable and success must be the result.
So here is the rule covering the three directions of work. Like most things, this has not come from my own pen but is ancient knowledge derived from our elders: 1. Each individual must first work on and for himself, otherwise he cannot help others. We must observe ourselves and constantly improve. This not only applies to our WT techniques and teaching methods, but also to our character.
2. Each individual must help his neighbour become better, his students – and even his colleagues!
Each individual must work for his WT family, his association and for WT itself. He must learn to understand the overall goals and help to develop and support them.And the reward for the effort of working in three directions is as follows:
Only those who can work in three directions, and if possible learn to do this simultaneously, can achieve personal fulfilment.
Paradoxically, an individual who works in this way actually achieves what the short-sighted, selfish person never achieves, namely success at all levels and contentment.
I wish all those who have not yet learned to take this golden approach the feeling of profound joy and satisfaction that comes from working in three directions.
Keith R. Kernspecht
P.S.: I did not formulate this admonition myself!
You could have read 90 % of what I have said on page 2 of Bild daily newspaper (Germany) on 12.3.05, in an editorial comment by Claus Jacobi (My Diary). "Selfishness is probably the strongest force in todays Germany". It is therefore not only our EWTO which is suffering from outbreaks of growing selfishness; we are dealing with a present-day phenomenon which affects the whole country! I only needed to replace words such as "Germany", "Occident" etc. with "EWTO", cite a few recent WT examples and add the rule of working in three directions – and my article was finished.
P.P.S: Issuing such a general appeal inevitably means that the "good" people (who behave correctly) will also (or particularly) feel addressed and condemned. These are NOT the ones I am addressing, as they are the salt of our EWTO!
This warning is not meant for the majority of my colleagues who are hard-working and whose integrity is not in doubt, but is intended to wake up those whom it really does concern, but with whom we have already parted company in most cases.