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"Makoto" Honest & Sincerity

Virtue #5 of the "8 Virtues of Bushido"

"When warriors say that they will perform an action, it is as good as done. Nothing will stop them from completing what they say they will do. They do not have to "give their word". They do not have to "promise".

Makoto or honesty is a trait that is mimicked regularly by the masses. Sayings such as, "You can trust me!" are neglectfully tossed around like water balloons at a 10 year old's birthday party, accidentally hitting unsuspecting people in the back of head. And furthermore, we are expected to trust the people who weaponize these sayings or we are viewed as disrespectful even if this individual has a reputation of being untrustworthy.

Surprisingly, there is one thing in this virtue that I disagree with and that is the sentence, "Nothing will stop them from completing what they say they will do." I think this is incorrect and here's why.

I can recall when a friend asked me to do something for her then she asked me to promise. Here is the response that I gave her. "I already said that I will do it. Adding more words to it won't change whether I mean it or not. It will only convince you more. Plus I can only guarantee so much. I will do everything in my power to assure that it is accomplished but sometimes death can spin out of our control. If I happen to die before completing what I said I will do, I greatly apologize for my failure. So I'm not going to promise you that I will do it because if I die, I will have no control over getting it done, and I will have broken my word."

Of course my friend rolled her eyes at me and I think drew her hand back to give me a slap. Lol! I'm sure she felt that I was being far too anal about keeping my word but isn't that what truly keeping our word should be about? Shouldn't we consider life and death when giving our word. Shouldn't our word still matter even after we're dead? ESPECIALLY after we are dead?

Making a "promise" can aid us in remembering an important thing that we said we were going to do usually because we may already be saturated from having told too many prior people that we will do things for them. Our commitments can become a messy bowl of Gumbo with ingredients that we have forgotten were added. If the reason behind a promise is "remembrance" then it is sensible to have a ceremony or item of reminder, attached to the promised deed to help with remembering.

Promises also can be made to convince another that we will do what we already said we will do. With many, saying words of promise won't change the intention of what will be done, it is just more words to bring more comfort to the one being spoken to.

Warriors never position themselves to do much for many because it spreads him or her too thin and dilutes the quality of the deeds that he chooses to do. Additionally, the warrior does not seek admiration through the struggle to develop a reputation of "being there" for a high volume of others like many may do. In fact, the warrior would consider spreading his or herself thin for admiration as a sign of selfishness and arrogance while trading true respect for others, for attention for self. The warrior would rather under promise and over deliver on a minimal amount of things sworn to than over promise and under deliver to appear giving.

...and THIS, ,,,is a "way" of "The Warrior's Edge!"

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Jermaine Andre


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