Our Code: Growth through Hard Work, Integrity, Compassion and Patience
The School of the Way is committed to helping young people “grow their lives”—to set and achieve goals that are meaningful to them and to empower themselves and their communities.
Our students are typically poor kids whose families would be working class, if there was work to be had. They understand the value of hard work. The lore of hard work has been passed down through the generations in their culture and their communities and they want to live into that lore. They want to work hard and achieve something that is beyond any expectation of them. Their heroes are the people who worked hard and made it. They want to make it, too, and they are willing to do what it takes.
Our word means something: 7:00 means 7:00, not 7:01. We can trust each other. We do what we say we’ll do. When our word means something, we can put our word to something: a life goal; a grade we want to achieve; a job we are applying for; or a degree we are seeking, and we can manifest that goal.
When there is a breakdown in our integrity, it doesn’t mean we are bad people. It simply means we didn't keep our word. When that happens, we clean it up for ourselves and for anyone else affected, and we reconstitute ourselves by restating what we’re committed to and then doing it.
Our students are tough kids by any definition, even before they join our school. Our goal is not to make them tougher. Our goal is to make them more compassionate as they collect more and more skills as a martial artist. With power comes responsibility, and our responsibility is to be compassionate even toward someone who has attacked us…once we have established control of the situation.
The Order of Black Belt is a long road. With some luck, life is, too. We take the long view, knowing there will be struggles and achievements and more struggles and more achievements, and we realize Growth is a process. We work hard. We strive to maintain integrity in everything we do. And we are patient with ourselves and thus with others.