Bushido and the Three Resolutions
Bushido is a Japanese term most would be familiar with, even if they didn’t know what it meant (like me). It is the Japanese warrior code and strictly means Military-Knight-Way (Bu-Shi-Do), but here for me was the interesting part. According to Inazo Nitobe’s ‘Bushido – the Art of Japan’, the Bushido knight’s code has not been written down except for a few maxims being handed down from mouth to mouth or being noted by some knight. In a similar vein, the terms ‘gentleman’ and ‘genuth’ (German) communicate a meaning which may not be formally defined in terms of any Code, but which most would understand nevertheless.
It occurred to me that this is a parallel to the 7 Habits and the Three Resolutions. Dr Covey writes of undeniable Principles as being timeless, extrinsic, accepted without question and universal. But some readers of his books criticise him for not being more specific with defining what ‘the principles’ are. He does mention a few, like truth, integrity and so on, but there is no defined and authoritative list provided – even in the later book ,Principle-Centred Leadership’.
So, like Bushido, the principles set out in both books remain, like Bushido, ‘understood’. You know what it means but would have to think about how to define it, if asked.
Which is not to say that we can’t define them at all – it just means, for me, that we need to define them for ourselves. We do that by reading, experiencing and occasionally just knowing what our truths are going to be. We then live by those rules, in the main. For some, like me and I hope by now, you, we write a personal mission statement, a set of defined values or simple a general ‘credo’ by which you try to live. You may not manage it 100% but the awareness that you have it, and the awareness of others that you have it, makes it more likely you’ll comply.
So, the Three Resolutions might mean something different to all of you, but we understand them enough to ‘know’ what they are and that we should be living in their accordance.
As a reminder for regular readers and for the benefit of new members of this community, there they are again:
First Resolution – “To overcome the restraining forces of appetites and passions, I resolve to exercise self-discipline and self-denial.”
Second Resolution – “To overcome the restraining forces of pride and pretension, I resolve to work on character and competence.”
Third Resolution -“To overcome the restraining forces of unbridled aspiration and ambition, I resolve to dedicate my talents and resources to noble purposes and to provide service to others.”
Typically, my experience of dieting is quite probably the same as it is for a lot of my readers – a sparkling start then a little bit of a slow down, if not frustration and disappointment. Not yet, in my case, as I am still losing at the required rate, and I remain dedicated to my running programme. Yesterday, for example, I was so tempted to rest instead of running a ‘mere’ 8 minutes because I’d walked miles and driven a lot further (a 4 hour drive). Oddly, despite all that I actually looked forward to my run so I did it in strange surroundings just for a change.