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Four Great Gifts

This is a story.

A great Karate Sensei had four senior students who had each trained with him for most of their lives. Each day he would tell them, "I am going to leave you a great gift when I die."

Because the Sensei lived to be quite old, he repeated this promise this many, many times. The first three students became lazy and greedy, and constantly dreamed about the great gift they would receive when their teacher passed away. The fourth just kept training.

Finally, the Sensei passed away. A special meeting was held at the dojo. The Sensei's good friend, the head Sensei of another dojo, called all the students together and before them all, presented the gifts to the four top students.

He called the first student to the front of the dojo. "Your Sensei have given you this dojo building."

The first student was so happy that he ran outside and went to town to celebrate.

The second student was called. "Your Sensei has given you his association."

The second student was so happy that he ran outside and went to town to celebrate with the first student.

The third student was called. "Your Sensei has given you his only daughter's hand in marriage."

The third student was so happy that he ran outside and went to town to celebrate with the first and second students.

Finally, The fourth student was called. "Your Sensei apologizes. He has no possessions left. The only things he could give you are his techniques and teaching methods. But these are not things to give, these are things that you earned by your own hard training. So he gives you nothing but his compliments and best wishes."

The fourth student bowed and went back to his training.

Time passed.

The first student found out that the dojo building was heavily mortgaged. He had to sell it just to pay of the debt. He was so upset he quit Karate altogether.

The second student found that all the members of the association quit when the Sensei died. Because there were no dues, he had to close it. He was so upset he quit Karate altogether.

The third student actually inherited the Sensei's remaining possessions because of his marriage to his daughter, but she was lazy and liked to buy expensive things. He was broke by the time he divorced her. He was so upset he quit Karate altogether.

The fourth student just kept on training and teaching and was very happy. Seeing what had happened, he told his students each day:

"I have nothing to give you except what I am teaching. If you enjoy Karate training, you will always be happy. If you are looking forward to anything else, you might as well quit now."

Respectfully,

Charles C. Goodin