Karl E. Geis, Hanshi
10th Dan Aikido, 9th Dan Judo U.S.J.A., 8th Dan Jyodo
Prejudice in any form is ugly and is to be condemned for what it is, a product of very narrow, unproductive minds.
The other side of the coin is just as ugly however and that is when those being prejudiced against lose contact with reality and begin to see prejudiced behavior against them or others in situations where no prejudicial behavior exists. This tendency to imagine non-existent offenses against oneself and others is very destructive to one's personality structure in that it leads us toward Don Quixote type behavior. Not only do we waste our time attacking windmills, we as a rule usually lose the ability to identify the real threats against us and others and thereby fail to act expediently when it is necessary to be expedient. This is of course a very sad state to come to.
There is no place in our Aikido system for either of these two types of personalities. Aikido hopefully provides a common ground for all races and sexes, and as long as I am responsible for the training and conduct of Aikido in this country, this will remain the case.
At some point in our lives each of us has had the thought pass through his head that he would like to kill so and so. To think such a thought is normal. To actually act on such a thought is crazy. So it is with prejudice. To think prejudicially at times or to imagine prejudice in another's actions at times is normal. To act in a prejudicial manner toward others or to react to imagined prejudicial acts is in the least case neurotic. Our society will not have leaders of either type. As Master Kenji Tomiki told me on my last visit to him, "There can be no Aikido advancement without personality improvement". I honor the Master's concepts and will cease to teach Aikido before I break my vows to him. Let us therefore work together in harmony and trust, thereby developing the power to identify those who come among us with wrong and destructive thoughts and intentions. These people, once identified, become harmless and pitiful creatures as was Cervante's Don Quixote de La Mancha, bravely jousting with paper tigers and ghosts. It's hard to lose to paper tigers and ghosts. The truth is however, these personalities usually do. Sad!
Karl E. Geis
KG/Fugakukai Christmas Clinic Newsletter
1981, Houston, Texas, USA