"Let's Build Bridges Instead of Barriers"
Bridges are built to allow people to get to places they otherwise could not reach due to some form of geographical impediment such as a mountain chasm, a river, or a body of water, etc. They allow people to travel other places, to transport things to another place and to bring things back. Bridges are designed to increase mobility and encourage growth or expansion.
Barriers, on the other hand are (in the context of this blog) are built or erected to keep people out – to disallow people who do not think the same way or do not have the same belief system from reaching or entering a location. The people inside the barrier oftentimes feel that they are safe and secure from some exterior force. But the flip-side is that barriers also prevent people from getting out and seeing and experiencing new things and differing points of view. They restrict mobility and discourage growth or expansion.
As I said, bridges allow people to travel to other places and see other things. They will allow people to experience different ways of doing things, different ways of thinking, and different points of view on things. A person may choose to return to their original starting point after their visit, or they may decide to continue to travel onward. The decision is up to them.
In the JKD world we need bridges rather than barriers. We should be striving to build bridges that unite or connect people rather than barriers that separate them. Bridges that lead to better understanding and better relationships within the JKD community.
How can we build bridges between the various factions and groups that currently exist in the JKD world? We can do it by seeking out similarities rather than differences, by finding commonalities of thought and ideas. We can do it by inviting people to share in an aggregate vision as opposed to a single forced vision regarding JKD. We can do it by shining a light upon the original spirit of the art; a spirit that has always been there.
I am an advocate for the art and philosophy of Jeet Kune Do. My goal since shifting the direction of my energies several years ago into serving as a ‘teaching consultant’ is to help foster positive change in the JKD world. My objective when I am teaching a seminar, workshop, or class, is simply to share knowledge which can help increase people’s understanding of JKD – to serve as a “link” between the various generations of JKD practitioners – to promote collegiality and hopefully function as a “bridge-builder” between the various JKD groups and factions that exist.
What about you? Are you more interested in building bridges or making sure the barriers are secure and remain in place?