InspirEmail No 158 - May 4, 2009
'Inspirational messages to refresh the spirit and boost the emotional bank account'

The Black Belt

A parable tells about a martial artist who kneels before a master sensei in a ceremony to receive the hard-earned Black Belt. After years of relentless training, the student has finally reached a pinnacle of achievement in the discipline.

'Before granting the belt, you must pass one more test,' the sensei solemnly tells the young man.

'I'm ready,' responds the student, expecting perhaps one more round of sparring.

'You must answer the essential question: What is the true meaning of the Black Belt?'

'Why, the end of my journey,' said the student. 'A well-deserved reward for my hard work.'

The master waits for more. Clearly, he is not satisfied. The sensei finally speaks: 'You are not ready for the Black Belt. Return in one year.'

As the student kneels before his master a year later, he is again asked the question, 'What is the true meaning of the Black Belt?'

'It is a symbol of distinction and the highest achievement in our art,' the young man responds.

Again the master waits for more. Still unsatisfied, he says once more: 'You are not ready for the Black Belt. Return in one year.'

A year later the student kneels before his sensei and hears the question, 'What is the true meaning of the Black Belt?'

This time he answers, 'The Black Belt represents not the end, but the beginning, the start of a never-ending journey of discipline, work and the pursuit of an ever higher standard.'

'Yes,' says the master. 'You are now ready to receive the Black Belt and begin your work.'

You may not be hoping for a Black Belt, but you might be at a crucial point. Maybe you're facing a life change, perhaps even a painful one. Or maybe you are awaiting something you have worked hard to attain - graduation, a new job, a promotion, or even retirement.

All wise people see that changes can be new beginnings. Change need not be feared. And neither should we be looking for a permanent resting place, for a full and happy life is never stagnant.

Does the change you face represent, not just an ending, but a new beginning in your life's journey? If so, you may be ready to move forward.

Author Unknown

May's Featured Inspiration

A Mother's Job

A mother was asked by an officious clerk, 'What is your occupation?' She had dedicated herself to the raising of her children and felt that, though she was not financially compensated for her labour . . . read the story >>>

Mothers are so Special!

Your mother is always with you. She's the whisper of the leaves as you walk down the street.

She's the smell of certain foods you remember, the flowers you buy and the perfume that she wore.

She's the cool hand on your brow when you're not feeling well, she's your breath in the air on a cold winter's day.

She's the sound of the rain that lulls you to sleep, the colours of a rainbow, she is Christmas morning.

Your mother lives inside your laughter. . . she is crystallised in every tear drop.

A mother shows every emotion . . .  happiness, love, hate, anger, helplessness, excitement, joy and sorrow.

And all the while, hoping and praying you will only know the good things in life.

She's the place you came from, your first home and she's the map you follow with every you step you take.

She's your first love, your first friend, and even your first enemy, but nothing on earth can separate you. Not time, not space and not even death.

May we never take our mothers for granted.

'The best and most beautiful things cannot be seen or touched . . . they must be felt with heart'

Author Unknown

- Inspirational Quote -

Excellence is not a destination; it is a continuous journey that never ends
Brian Tracy

View more Inspirational Quotes >>>

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A monthly positive inspirational story and quote to refresh your spirit and boost the emotional bank account. InspirEmail was first published in November 2005 and each issue can be viewed in the Archived InspirEmail Directory located below the latest issue of InspirEmail

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