First and foremost, we are all connected to each other through shared humanity, and to a certain degree the animal kingdom via consciousness despite sensory differences. This connectivity is our birthright, requiring no ‘doing’ just ‘being.’ =)
Next, when we strap on the Gi or Rash Guard and grapple, drill, problem solve, and do all things Jiu-Jitsu we are automatically connected to every other Jiu-Jitsu dude/dudette. No affiliation, special attire, belts, or cliques needed. Just two friends who want to build on their understanding of Jiu-Jitsu.
These two ideas represent our grounding as martial artists.
To illustrate, if you think you’re a better ‘human’ than some one because you’re a higher belt in Jiu-Jitsu, or train at a ‘affiliated’ school; high school called and wants its mentality back. =)
And while it’s cool to be part of tribe, team, or affiliation, don’t let that get in the way of our common Jiu-Jitsu brotherhood, which is the REAL reward for throwing on a Gi and our taking lumps on the mat.
Last but not least, and I know you guys and gals are too smart for this, but needing to be a part of a particular individual or group of people isn’t community it is co-dependence.
To that distinction I offer an excerpt from Khalil Gibran’s ‘The Prophet:’
“Let there be spaces in your togetherness, and let the winds of heavens dance between you. Love one another, but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone. Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.”