Virtue #4 of the "8 Virtues of Bushido"
"Hiding like a turtle in a shell is not living at all. A true warrior must have heroic courage. It is absolutely risky. It is living life completely, fully, and wonderfully."
"Yuuki" adds essence to one's life. To be courageous is to do that which we are afraid to do. Now we mustn't be thoughtless in meeting the requirements of this virtue by doing stupid, destructive things. There is a very thin line between courageous and stupid and the determining factors between are our ego, self service, and selflessness.
I have had a concern since childhood of having to stand up to anything that made me afraid. If it scared me, I HAD to face, challenge and conquer it or eventually die from it. Now this was a good attitude for a child and even an adult but not when it was misguided. I found myself constantly in life threatening situations and handcuffs during my youth years, because I would not back down from anyone including the law enforcement. To me, I would be a coward to "fear" any other person who tried to dominate me to serve their will.
Eventually this mindset landed me on a 6 year stint to the big house at the age of 17 which actually is where my first "blessing lesson" on warriorship began. One of the "jailers" (correctional officers) noticed my strong spirit and informed me that I reminded him of the Samurai warrior. Now, I was familiar with what the Samurai was regarding combat, but not with their codes of honor or servitude. The kind jailer brought me a book to read on the Samurai and I learned the lesson that has probably saved my life up till this day! This lesson of the Samurai code was...
"...DIE RIGHTOUES! DIE HONORABLY! DIE BRAVELY! BUT DO NOT DIE A DOG'S DEATH FOR THAT WOULD BE DISHONORABLE!"
That message enlightened me immediately on the value of my personal life. It was my first lesson on how to choose which fights I should and shouldn't be fighting. This one sentence gave me a life living lesson.
In this modern society it is a lot easier to be courageous than we may think. We don't have to jump off of a cliff into shark filled waters with a knife in our mouth, or run towards a fire breathing dragon with the broken edge of a bloody Katana. We only need to do the right thing.
We all know that there is much to gain for self from cheating, lying, and stealing. In fact, these ways are the formula for getting and staying ahead of others while building and securing a more comfortable lifestyle for our self. It takes a lot of courage to do acts that we don't benefit from and may even be punished for doing. When we choose to do that which is right over that which we can benefit from, we are being highly courageous. We are exercising and demonstrating "Yuuki" at it's greatest level today.
...and THIS, is a "way" of "The Warrior's Edge"! -Jermaine Andre