The Way of the Master
There was once a Martial Artist, who won championships in various combat sports throughout the land. He is heavily built with towering presence and strong limbs enough to cause average mortal unconscious with one swing of his arm. Indeed, he was an epitome of strength and power that nobody dares to mess with him.
One day in the market place, a drunkard was pushing people left and right. Causing trouble to everyone he passes; cursing people and asking for a fight. Everyone tries to steer out of the drunkard ways or else face the drunkard’s wrath.
The Martial Artist, who happened to be in the same market, saw the commotion and felt agitated, he told himself “I will teach this drunkard a lesson he won’t forget” and ready himself for the fight ahead.
As the drunkard inch closer and closer to the Martial Artist, there happens to be an Old Man sipping tea, serene and unperturbed by the commotion around him. When the drunkard reached the old man, the Martial Artist was few steps away; he prepared to step-in and defend the Old Man from harm. However, before the Martial Artist could move a muscle, the Old Man spoke with sweet and calming voice.
“Hello, there young man, you seem to have been drinking sake?” said the Old Man. “I love sake too, where did you get your drink, it must have tasted really good” he continues.
The Old Man have spoken few more words disarming the drunkard and that the next thing the Martial Artist saw is the drunkard face down, sobbing on bended knees on the lap of the Old Man asking for forgiveness and understanding while the Old Man slowly caress the drunkard’s hair telling him that everything will be alright.
The Martial Artist was mesmerized by the unfolding drama before him; he realized that he is in the presence of a True Master, who can subdue an opponent with few spoken words, kind deeds, and the finesse of his approach. Indeed, as Sun Tzu once said, “supreme victory is to subdue an opponent without a fight”.
In our endeavor to achieve lasting peace, we can either be like the Martial Artist whose means is to use power and brute force; or we can follow the Old Man and approach peace advocacy with the pleasant disposition, wisdom, understanding, and fortitude.
The story epitomizes the strategy that the Institute for Peace and Development in Mindanao (IPDM) aspires for in contributing to attaining the Peace Agenda of the MSU System to become a Primer National Peace University in the country. We believe that peace cannot be imposed, nor can it be enforced through brute force; it needs to be inclusive, open, and contextualized into the needs of the community. The IPDM through its Peace Research, Peace Actions, and Peace Education has been contributing to the Peace Agenda of the MSU System to become a primer National Peace University of the country.