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There Once Was A Boy Named Karate

Updated: Jan 1

And Karate was my imaginary friend.

Rather than an imaginary friend, he was more like a character that I created. That being said, I always knew that Karate wasn't in fact real at all. Considering my love of movies, then and now, creating different characters was always an enjoyable, and a slightly nerdy art form for me.

There's nothing wrong with being a nerd.

Throughout the days at preschool, while students were going over their shapes, colors, and numbers, I was daydreaming about Karate's adventures and how I was going to captivate my audience.

My audience was my siblings.

So each night, I would return home from a stressful day of preschool ready to share the goods.  Right after Mama SEBU sent us to bed, and right before anyone could drift off into REM sleep, I would find my three older siblings, as I intended on trapping them into yet another one of my long-winded stories.  I had to be creative, because they all knew that once I started talking, the only defense they had was sleeping. They were on to me and my ways. Furthermore, if I was talking, sleeping became entirely too difficult, so I had to be swift.

Thus came Karate.

I realized that as I acted out scene from these lavish journeys with my "friend", my siblings were attentive and amused.  Karate had siblings, toys, clothes, as well as any other normal day-to-day objects.  Karate had become a staple in my nightly routine.  I was the headliner.  Nothing could stop me.

Except on that fateful night.  I remember it like it was yesterday.

"Richie, when are we going to meet Karate?" one of my siblings asked.

I was stunned.  Paralyzed with uncertainty, I had a decision to make.  This decision was one that I was far to young for.  Not knowing what the ramifications for my choice would be, I confessed.

"Karate isn't real" I said, with a puzzled face and ashamed sigh of despair.

What would the future hold?

Fast forward to the present day, and I am still running my mouth to my siblings.  This time around, there are no imaginary friends, but I still will act out a scene from my day for a laugh or two.  I try to make sure that there is at least something that they can take from the stories.

So what is the moral of Karate?

In retrospect, I am almost certain that no one ever truly believed that Karate was real.  Not even I believed that he was true.  What my siblings did was allow me to stretch my mind and be creative.  They simply listened to me, which was more important than anything. Allowing a child, or any human for that matter, a space to expand their thought can be therapeutic and beneficial in several areas of life.  Holding me accountable to my stories forced me to have the evidence to support whatever it was that I was trying to prove.  This goes much further than any friend named after a martial art. 

Another important aspect is the fact that I was not afraid to speak to them.  If they had discredited any of the words that I spoke, I may have suppressed it all and never practiced the verbal brainstorming that was clearly necessary for my development.  I'm certain that some of the stories were outlandish, but the sheer opportunity to hear anyone's thought process is a gift that should be recognized and appreciated. At the end of the day, these stories were harmless, so why not humor me for a couple of minutes?  Clearly I had a lot to say....some things never change.  Everyone has a story that they'd love to share.  Chances are, they just don't know who to share it with.  Sometimes before we start tuning out what someone is trying to say, take a moment to hear them out.  They might provide some telling information.

Or they will tell you about Karate.

Don't worry, even Karate can phase out with a good audience.

Thank you all for reaching the end.  It is always a pleasure to waste time with you.  I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed sharing these stories back in the day.  Shout out to the Sibling SEBU's, and sorry for all the hours of sleep you'll never get back.

Until next time

Long Live The People

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