The other evening I was driving one of my sons to an event. As we neared the destination, I told him:
"Be good. Don't take any drugs. No smoking. No drinking. But if you do drink, call me and and I will pick you up no matter how late it is. If someone is going to give you a ride, don't accept if he has been drinking. I will pick you up any time and anywhere. Don't get into any fights. Be responsible with girls. Treat them with respect."My son listened and then asked, "Why are you telling me this? I already know all that."
He was right. I had said the same things to him many times before. I answered:
"As your father, it is my job to tell you things that you already know. I have to say things many times so that there can be no question that I told you. If I tell you only once, you might miss something."I respect all my children. But when it comes to things like drinking, smoking, drugs, responsibility on dates, and fighting, I don't mind being a little redundant.
In the dojo as well, I might give the same advice and warnings many times. Who knows, some of the students might have missed an earlier class in which I said the same thing. Or they might have not paid attention. Or their lives might have changed such that the advice is particularly timely now.
As Sensei, it is OK for us to tell our students things they already know, or think they already know. At least they will realize that these things are important enough for us to emphasize them.
They don't give trophies for the times when a student did not drink, did not smoke, did not take drugs, did not drive drunk, did not fight, did not act irresponsibly on a date. Perhaps they should.
And please remember, our students learn much more from what we do than what we say -- so do our children.
Charles C. Goodin