Updated: Dec 1, 2022
Virtue #2 of the "8 Virtues of Bushido"
"True Warriors have no reason to be cruel. They do not need to prove their strength. Warriors are courteous even to their enemies. Warriors are not only respected for their strength in battle, but also by their dealings with others."
Allow me to start this blog off with what I feel is the mot important thing to point out about this virtue and that would be the definition of the world "cruel".
CRUEL- "willfully causing pain or suffering to others, or feeling no concern about it."
This personality trait has been confusingly related with the acts of a combatant or warrior so much, that it has tarnished the definition of what it means to be a true combatant. Cruelty is an emotional or emotionless act of cowardice. It doesn't make us tough or superior. It is simply that moment when we were a child burning ants with a magnifying glass because we could. And when this mentality remains with us through adult hood we become evil through cruel adult acts.
It doesn't take bravery, courage or restraint to be cruel because the only time that cruelty can occur is when one has a strong, dominating advantage over another, and chooses to use it to cause harm instead of to mend relations or make things better for all involved. This is very easy to do and sadly we all have done it, and may even still unknowingly be doing it to our little brother, sister, employees, a homeless person, kids, parents, or anyone who we know can't affect our life when we choose to treat them like crap! The mistreatment of those who are weaker than us is cruelty.
We must understand that cruel treatment doesn't have to be a punch in the face, whipping, or any sort of physical act. We can be cruel in our business dealings with associates when we take financial advantage of them. We can be cruel with the snarling look that we give the begger on the street. We can be cruel by yelling at our elders because we had a bad day. We can be cruel by ignoring a need of our child because we are tired and don't feel like dealing with them today. It is VERY easy to be cruel but it can be VERY hard to identify when we truly are being cruel.
To show respect is to treat another with equal value without allowing the benefit of reward or intimidation of punishment to determine our reasoning. To be courteous to our enemies is the ultimate example of this behavior. Even though another is against us there is no reason to be cruel to him or her, even if the competition results in one or both ending up dead. True "Rei" can admire the strength and courage traits of the one who may be standing against him or her. This is an ultimate level of "emotional intelligence" and it also...
...is THIS, is a "way" of "The Warrior's Edge"! -Jermaine Andre