Yet I found far more congruence than divergence between our two belief systems. The more I read, the more fairly accurate descriptions I found of what I have come to see as my own beliefs as I have tested and changed and refined them over the years. Take this quote from Bruce Lee as an excellent example:
I can totally vouch for the concept of bending like a reed in the wind in the face of conflict because I have used it to handle conflict in a spirit of peace and fairness. The wind can blow the reed down, but the wind doesn’t break the reed. Likewise, adversity can blow us down, but it breaks us only if we choose to let it break us. Choose to be like the reed in the wind, and it won’t break you.
From perspectives on understanding oneself and one’s place in nature to ideas on countering racism and relieving stress to learning about the art of fighting without fighting, there’s far too much of what I love in this book to share in the limited space of this review, so I’ll share simply one idea related to my future career field: education. Here’s what Bruce Lee thought about education:
I find that approach to education fascinating. In the context of that perspective, Bruce Lee devised a four-step process towards educating oneself, which I also endorse.
1. Research your own experience.
2. Absorb what is useful.
3. Reject what is useless.
4. Add what is specifically your own.
Straightforward and very practical, this approach reminds me very much of some advice I once got from my grandfather in a letter (yes, that’s snail mail for you young whipper snappers). He never wrote much of anything, and so the one letter I got from him I eagerly received. I don’t remember much of what the letter had to say, but I do remember how it ended. “I don’t know if anything I have said is any good for you, but if it is, keep it. Throw the rest away.”
Most of what I found in Little’s book is good for me. It expands my mind and provides alternative perspectives from which to view the world and my place in it. And it has inspired me to pursue studying the martial arts as a way to discover more of myself and how to express it. Though I don’t agree with everything in the book, I do recommend it for others. 4 out of 5 stars.
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