I performed a wedding a few weeks ago. It was a glorious time and a glorious couple. I had the opportunity to share a bit about love and marriage. I defaulted to nuggets from four of the greatest men who ever lived. The first was Mr. Miyagi.
Remember that scene from The Karate Kid? Mr. Miyagi askes Daniel if he’s ready to start learning Karate. Daniel shrugs and says, “I guess so.”
Mr. Miyagi shakes his head and takes Daniel by the shoulder. “Daniel-san,” he says. “Must talk.”
He crouches down and unpacks his parable. “You walk on road, hm? Walk left side – safe. Walk right side – safe. Walk middle? Sooner or later squish just like grape. Same with Karate. Karate do yes? Okay. Karate do no? Okay. Karate do ‘guess-so?’ Sooner or later squish just like grape.”
Love’s that way, I thought. Love do yes? Safe. Love do no? Safe (though empty). Love do ‘guess-so?’ Sooner or later, squish just like grape.
Love is the wildest battle I’ve ever fought. And any battle demands all your attention.
People fail when they love their neighbours and their spouses ‘guess-so.’ It’s as bad as walking down the centre of the road. Gotta pick a side! Either refuse to love anyone, and live that empty, dark life of safe loneliness. Or choose to throw yourself into love and walk that vibrant path of peace. Otherwise you’ll be always waffling back and forth between selfishness and love, never sure which hand to play.
The love path will get you beat up, just like the Karate path earn Daniel a few bruises. But it was better than the other path. Because love creates a bubble of protection around us that we are enabled to extend to the people in our circles. It makes the world a better place. It heals every hurt. It’s not easy, but it’s safe. Safer than ‘guess-so.’