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More Excerpts from Hagakure, Ch. 1

I posted "Excerpts From Hagakure, Chapter 1" a while back. The book is dense with interesting ideas. Here's some more excerpts -

When an official place is extremely busy and someone comes in thoughtlessly with some business or other, often there are people who will treat him coldly and become angry. This is not good at all. At such times, the etiquette of a samurai is to calm himself and deal with the person in a good manner. To treat a person harshly is the way of middle class lackeys.

Treat people calmly and with good manners, even when they're a little careless. "To treat a person harshly is the way of middle class lackeys" - that made me laugh.

There is something to be learned from a rainstorm. When meeting with a sudden shower, you try not to pet wet and run quickly along the road. But doing such things as passing under the eaves of houses, you still get wet. When you are resolved from the beginning, you will not be perplexed, though you still get the same soaking. This understanding extends to everything.

You get wet either way in a rainstorm, but by accepting it you stay of clear mind. What a great metaphor. Accept that you'll get wet in a rainstorm - because you will either way - and go purposefully instead of rushing.

Robin Williams - Funny Man, Actor and Tortured Soul

On Zenthusiasm

The news of the loss of Robin Williams, age 63, to suicide was somewhat unsettling for me. I recall feeling similarly when we lost Heath Ledger at an all-too-early age, but I couldn't put my finger on what it was that was truly bothering me.

Robin was someone I've grown up with, since his brilliant introduction to TV as Mork on Happy Days, to a stirring dramatic performance in Dead Poet's Society, becoming Mrs. Doubtfire, fighting Captain Hook as an adult Peter Pan, a comedic radioman in Good Morning, Vietnam, and my all time favourite role of his, that of the sensitive, caring Dr. Sean Maguire in Good Will Hunting, a man that has experienced the ups and downs of life first hand.

I think with Robin, I saw a little bit of myself, or what I wanted to be. He was a master of the one-liner, and could make people laugh almost on command. He was intelligent - you could see it in his eyes. He studied and understood people - not just big names such as actors and politicians, but the average person, and what we go through, and that reflected in his humour.

He had another side too, and that side we got glimpses of in his dramatic acting skills. He wasn't just a comedian - he was a performer. He had so much to show the world, to reflect back at us, not just on the surface, but a depth that he also understood.

His passing, most likely by his own hand, shows that even when one has the praise of the world, the wealth of a celebrity, the opportunities to do almost anything he wanted - sometimes its just not enough.

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