Normally I would not use my martial arts blog to pontificate on my view of ethics, but on second thought, why would I not? The study of the martial path is really heavily layered in issues of honor, respect, morality and ethics. Budo, the martial way, is really the study of conflict and resolution and how to maintain harmony through our behavior and actions. In budo shouldn't we discuss the ideal roles we should play in life and follow the good examples of the wise people around us?
I came to learn yesterday that an casual acquaintance of mine has fathered a child. From what I have heard he has had nothing to do with the child since birth, and has not even taken the time to see the young one. I guess I had not really thought deeply on this topic before, as I have not been in proximity to this kind of behavior. I find today strong thoughts and feelings keep bubbling up about this.
What kind of human would casually dismiss a lover and not see an infant he sired? What sort of person would simply turn their back and ignore people like that?
The greatest person I know and love, was similarly dismissed by her father before her birth. We were just discussing it. She has never had the urge to go find him or see what he is like. I understand. What kind of person would abandon a lover expecting a child? What kind of person would dismiss the needs of an infant they are responsible for? Why would you want to meet a person like that, who deep down is so selfish the world is only about themselves? Why would you want to meet your first betrayer who refused to acknowledge your very existence?
So I draw a line. If a man could do that to a woman he shares a bed with and a helpless infant, what would a man do to a mere friend of casual acquaintance? If a man is willing to commit such an ethical crime to his lover and child, what vile act would he do to someone he doesn't know, or to someone he doesn't like?
So this goes to any man or woman that would abandon a child. If you are so selfish to an infant who needs help, I have to see you as a threat to my personal well being and the lives of the people I love. I want nothing to do with you.
In the martial arts we call this establishing maai - distance. Keep people at the appropriate distance so you can see them coming and have time to react. My maai, or distance, for the people unburdened by ethics is a wide wide circle. If you are the sort to dismiss responsibility for a child, please stay the hell out of my maai. I don't care about your story, your opinions or your beliefs while there is a child to be taken care of. Get your priorities straight.