Tai Chi – We shrink from change

Marcus Aurelius – Emperor of Rome AD161 – AD180 penned the paragraph below over 1800 years ago. It seems many of us still suffer from the same fear of change today.

“We shrink from change; yet is there anything that can come into being without it? What does nature hold dearer or more proper to herself? Could you have a hot bath unless the firewood underwent some change? Is it possible for any useful thing to be achieved without change? Do you not see then that change in yourself is of the same order, and no less necessary?”

So as I was pondering the above statement I remembered the old question: “Is it better to be a big fish in a little pond or a little fish in a big pond?” I always subscribed to the view that being a big fish in a little pond was a good thing.

Goldfish kept in goldfish bowls or very small ponds stay small as they have little room to grow and goldfish in big ponds and lakes grow considerable larger. So there is more to the quote above and it got me thinking.

Considering myself and the way I communicate with the outside world, I would have to admit I have been a bit of a hermit for many years.

I have devoted most of my time over the last 43 years to teaching Tai Chi and the related arts. As of late with more time, to pursue my own interests further I have, encouraged by my lovely gregarious wife, been venturing out and meeting people with views other than my own tightly held picture of life as it should be.

This is a little uncomfortable for me, very uncomfortable, actually. I am quite happy with my own company and thoughts and the company of my good woman, however much she keeps challenging my opinions and convictions. I thought that sort of thing would stop after 20 years or so?

I have reached the conclusion that to grow, and self improvement was my reason for dedicating myself to the art of Tai Chi for so many years, I must embrace views that clash with mine and make me, kicking and screaming, raise my head above the parapet. Risk getting shot at and like the little fish in the big pond, risk getting bullied by the bigger fish, but in the process growing. For is not all in nature in a constant state of growth to remain healthy. Once growth has stopped stagnation sets in. I am not about to embrace that. Growth is my aim regardless of the discomfort I may endure in that process.

For with greater growth come more options. A better educated view of life here on our planet must surely give a potential for greater life experiences and the chance to help others reach their potential too. So then onwards and upwards it is for me; how about yourself?

I wish you all I wish for myself.

© Copyright 2016 Howard Gibbon – all rights reserved

About the Author Howard Gibbon

Howard, who was a student of the late Grand Master Chee Soo for 21 years has been practicing and teaching the Lee Style of Tai Chi and related arts since 1973.

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