While driving in to the office this morning I was listening to NPR's morning business edition; in particular the latest scandal on Wall Street involving what has to be the largest Ponzi scheme in history at an est. $50 Billion.
Wow! As a politico said many years ago, "A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon you're talking about real money".
How did this happen? How did so many supposed "smart" people get duped by a man who, according to many skeptics even 10 years ago, couldn't possibly be that good at his investment strategies?
When looked at from the Hanshi viewpoint of Yowamushi Okaeri Nasai ("Welcome Home Chickens" or more colloquially, "All Chickens Come Home to Roost"), the Ponzi artist dealt with people who wanted to believe and he simply took advantage of their belief in him.
Remembering that all chickens come home to roost, anytime a Sensei begins to; "tell stories" about himself to make himself look good, take advantage of people on a physical, emotional or financial basis, engages in grooming behavior for sexual liaisons, or any of the other horror stories that surface on the Internet or the "Dojo Grape Vine" on a regular basis, he or she is setting themselves up for a serious fall from "Hanshi-Hood".
Every single person alive will, from time to time; throw someone too hard, tell a mis-truth (a little white lie) to spare someone's feelings, exaggerate (as a good friend said once, "Never let the truth get in the way of a good fish story"), or just make a "life-mistake" in some area.
We all do this because we are all human and not one of us alive (or dead for that matter) has NEVER made a mistake or done something that we weren't sorry for one second later or regretted the next day, and either immediately vowed to try to never do again, or began formulating our sincere apologies to the offended or injured parties.
It's the non-martial arts person, the businessman, the Sensei, the Sempai, the Hanshi/Exemplar who does it consciously, deliberately, repetitively and with full malice of forethought for purposes of profit, self-aggrandizement and self-validation that is the evil person that everyone should look out for whether stepping into a dojo or sitting down in front of that investment advisor.
With that said however; we can all be fooled initially, but the observant person cannot be fooled forever. What's that old saying? You can fool all of the people some of the time but you can't fool all of the people all of the time? At some point the sun shines and we head for the door in order to find some clean air to breathe.
Being an honest and ethical person and living a moral life whether in or outside of the dojo is what marks a "good person" that others want to emulate or learn from or just be around. That person who forgets this and becomes dishonest will eventually find that all their chickens come home to roost.
Or as reported on the news program I was listening to in the car on the way in, Buffet (considered by many to be one of the primo' investors alive today put it this way ............ "It's only when the tide goes out that you discover who has been swimming naked".
I heard that and immediately thought of the honest Hanshi issue. What a wonderful way in which to consider it. I don't know about you but that metaphor brings all sorts of interesting visuals to my mind's eye; some good ;-) and some bad :-O.
So combine the two; "At some point all your naked chickens swim home".
Or as the poet said, "The King has no clothes and the Hanshi has no hakama".
L.F. Wilkinson Sensei
Aikibudokan, Houston, TX