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Have you offended anyone today?

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We live in a world where people seldom speak up about what they believe.  If you do, depending upon the topic, you are labeled a "hater", "racist", "against the rights of this group or that group".  We, at CFMAF believe in being true to who we are and teaching the students here to do the same.  We help people to grow and become secure knowing that speaking up about what they believe and who they are, is in no way putting down anyone else. 

Some where, at some time, some people have come to believe that by thinking differently about a view or certain topic, makes them some type of troublemaker, or hater, or insensitive.  That pressure has suppressed the rights of others who choose to simply be themselves and exercise their right to simply disagree. 

We teach the students at CFMAF, kids and adults, that is ok to be them. It is ok to speak up with respect and express how you feel.  The difference, however, is that we believe that you can still love and respect others, even when you see something differently than them.

Who have you offended today?

This is an important question because often times, if we were to ask ourselves this very question, the answer is no one.  Instead of speaking with someone how we feel, we allow others around us for force us to conform to their way of thinking, even we do not agree with what they are saying.  Why?  Because of the fear of being labeled or having someone "put us on blast" on social media. 

How does it feel to go through a day and not share with someone your valuable insights and knowledge that you have learned throughout your many years on this earth?  Please don't misunderstand.  I do not awaken each day with the sole purpose in my mind being offensive.  Instead, I awaken each day asking myself "how can I learn today, who can I learn from, and how can I make a positive impact in the lives of those around me today"?

By discussing, not arguing, I am able to grow.  To grow means I must listen.  To listen means I must give someone the opportunity to speak.  To give them the opportunity to speak and them giving me the same opportunity, means we are having a conversation.  Through this process we both grow and learn.  Maybe, it will be revealed to me today something new because I chose to listen instead of defend my point of view.  Changing my mind or my point of view by obtain knowledge does not make me hypocritical, it makes me wise.

Often times people raise their voices and their blood pressure trying to beat someone into believing their point of view.  We have found that those who often speak the loudest, and become keyboard warriors by writing things via social medial, are more angry over the fact that they are wrong and have been proven to be wrong.  No longer are they shouting due to the passion of their commitment to the topic.  Instead, they are yelling out of angry over being proven to be in the wrong. 

Being true to yourself and holding yourself to the values and morality that you have accepted in your life, means someone will be offended. Everyone will be offended over something.  Your true character is revealed by the way that you respond to being offended.

Recently, I was speaking with someone about some things that I wanted done.  He told me how he could do these things, the manner in which he would do them, the time frame to get them done, and the associated costs.  When I told him to put all those things in writing and lets sign it, he was offended.  He said to me "No need, its all about trust."  You trusted that someone whom you have known for years when you gave them money with their promise to pay it back on that next paycheck.  Still today you are waiting.  Due to the lack of integrity in today's world there is a need for the assurance of something in writing clearly detailing what is expected, the amount, and the term and conditions of payment. So why then was he offended for me asking to have everything in writing?

The next gentleman whom I spoke with about this same issue, had a contract drawn out, the specifics included, and agreed that we both need to sign it.  I was not offended over him presenting a contract, I was delighted.  Why?  Because this meant to him and to me that we are working a business transaction.  It meant that we both know what is required from both of us.  He smiled and said "The last person I did this for didn't want to sign the contract.  I told him if I am going to do the work and you are going to pay me for the work, why would you not sign the contract?  The contract only becomes a problem if you plan on not holding up your end of the business transaction."  Wow, I told him, Great Point.   

Yes, I know that even with signed contracts people sometimes do not honor their commitment.  Think about how many credit cards go into default each year.  That is a contract you signed with some back to supply you a loan for X percentage that you make a payment on monthly.  How many homes go into foreclosure?  That is a contract signed with a mortgage company to loan you money for the home chosen.  How many cars get repossessed.  That is a contract signed with a lending institution so you could purchase a vehicle.  The problem isn't the contract.  The problem is the lack of morality and integrity, to honor the terms that you agreed to. 

Have I offended you yet?  

Offending you is not my purpose.  Showing to you clearly who we are and what we believe is my purpose.  We are very much believers in honor, integrity, morality and we want to have like minded people around us. 

Do we want your children to grow up imitating the traits of those who lie or chose to not honor their word? Do you want to be around people who daily take more from you then they invest in you? Or do we want your children to grow up with integrity and honoring their commitments?  For them to grow up as adults with those traits, then must be exposed to people with those traits as kids.   

You see, some of you reading this are offended. 

Have I offended anyone today?  The answer is yes.

The question is do you want your family to be around people who will speak of and demonstrate integrity?  Do you want the martial arts school that you choose to train in to teach values and morality even if it means that someone will be offended?  Do you want to be around people who will speak what they feel through love and compassion with the intent to help you grown? Or would you rather have your children imitate the behavior of a chameleon?   Constantly changing who they are for the person standing in front of them at the moment.  Living in that behavior means that your child grows up never truly knowing who he or she is.  They are afraid to express how they feel. They are afraid to speak of the values that you have taught them because they are afraid of offending someone. 

We understand a young person dilemma. It may also be a yours.  Today's world has keyboard warriors.  Fellow students may text bad things about them.  Your friends, or people you thought were your friends, may write things on social media about you.  To defeat the temptation to just give in, we teach you and  your children how to prepare and how to place into action that preparedness when it is needed.  It will be something that many young people will face.  We have faced it, still we hold true to who we are because we see all the positive of all those who stay the steady course.  We have learned to count our victories by the many that we have lifted up as well as by those we have offended.  Why? Because that means we have learned to be true to who we are and not sway for the acceptance from someone who is only temporarily in our lives. 

Have you offended anyone today? 

I hope that the answer is yes, but not because your goal is hurt someone's feelings, but instead your calling is to be true to who you are.  Should you change. let it be because you have become enlightened by discussing instead of arguing.  You have grown because of listening, instead of shouting.  In this, each person who comes into your life or the lives of your children will choose to accept them as they are or reject them.  But either way, we assist you and your children in knowing that they will fine either way. 


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