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Remember that history is written by the conqueror and that obedience is often mistaken for loyalty.

Questioning authority is not disloyalty if that authority is both capable and truthful. Being in a leadership position such as a Guro means you have to lift to a higher standard. Students will question your intentions, your validity, your Bona Fides, as it were. This is not heresy. This is a student, who is unsure of themselves and the art they are learning, seeking solidity and certainty. Most students who stick around long enough will see through whatever thin veil may be cast over your art. They will question. They will challenge. They may even argue. This is where Guros have to step up and patiently let their students work through their uncertainties. It's my belief (and I try to practice this) that when these challenges come, it is my duty to rise to them and provide information, technique and proof. I do not believe in demanding blind obedience. That is the path of the narcissist. Sometimes, the challenges are beyond me. But, I would rather say "I don't know. Let's figure it out together" than "That's the way it is, don't question me". Remember, I am talking about advanced students and Guros, not beginners. For beginners, there has to be a leap of faith but as they become advanced students, that leap has to land on the solid ground of truth, humility and honesty, not the quagmire of egoism. If you are honest, humble and truthful, then your students will be loyal because you earned that loyalty, not because you demanded it. I have been on both sides of this equation. Men have lost my loyalty because they demanded it while others have gained it while asking for nothing. Respect is earned, never entitled.

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Comment by terry joven on October 26, 2016 at 4:14pm

Well said sir!

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