My Own Story

Each month my son, B, is required to complete a homework assignment as part of his martial arts program. This month’s assignment focused on personal responsibility and included this short poem:

“I’m the one who writes my own story
I decide the kind of person I will be
What goes in the story and what does not
Is pretty much up to me.”

While it certainly won’t win the Griffin Poetry Prize, the poem did challenge my son to be accountable for his own actions and behaviours. When asked to explain what the words meant to him, B said, “You get to decide who you are. I want to be me—a good guy; nice.”

This evening as I reflect on the poem, I’m challenged to continue writing my own story. While I can’t control what will happen to me in the future, I can determine what kind of person I want to be and how I will respond to the challenges and opportunities that come my way.

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Indomitable Spirit

My son, B, attends Tae Kwon Do classes twice a week. Participating in the martial arts provides him with a great opportunity for extra-curricular fun and fitness, but the experience is also helping him to develop self-discipline and improve his ability to focus and listen.

The school he attends focuses on six character traits: modesty, courtesy, integrity, self-control, perseverance and an indomitable spirit. It’s amusing to hear the youngest students try to pronounce “indomitable.” This is not a widely used word, and during the first few classes I kept thinking about Bumble, the Indomitable Snowman who appears in the 1964 stop-animation movie Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer.

Despite what the character of Bumble implies, indomitable does not mean angry or ferocious but rather someone or something that is impossible to subdue or defeat. The martial arts program is striving to develop young people who will be unassailable and unshakable. With all of the negative influences in the world trying to corrupt and tear down our young people, it’s wonderful to have programs available such as this which exist to build confidence, self-awareness and respect for others.

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