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Personal Best Karate

Being the First to Extend a Hand of Friendship

Posted: May 17, 2019

By Master Christopher Rappold

Recently I attended an event where I was an invited speaker.  It was not my first time attending, and I was thinking back to last year’s event which was not my favorite.  I remember the feeling of being stared down, judged and just enduring the cold culture it presented to me.  Knowing I would be attending again, didn’t give me a lot to look forward to.

Prior to the event starting I made a decision.  I was going to actively be the first one to initiate contact, compliments and conversation with any of the people I came across.  I was amazed at how nice everyone was.  Many of the same people, but it seemed they had grown so much. 

 Actually, they hadn’t changed at all!  All that changed was how I interacted with them.  No matter how big, strong and intense a person is, it’s amazing to me how their guard drops when they are greeted and made to feel important.  

How many times have I been in situations where I was the one waiting and judging instead of leading with a handshake, a smile and a kind word? I don’t know, but I do know one thing for sure - I got a good reminder of how easy it can be to break down self imposed barriers if I would just be the first to extend a hand of friendship.


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