Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Prevention and Longevity

"As you go along you'll probably find this a very very nice topic to write because it helps people to understand that we are not just martial artists or whatever. We are people who know more than just that. Live longer. Prevent."

Taken from an audio recording of Calasanz

You know, there is something that I respect in the way my Father thinks and in the way his mind works.  He's always had the belief of preventing problems.  He's the kind of guy who would do whatever it takes to prevent a tragedy.  If he has to yell he's going to yell.  If he has to spank he's going to spank.  Just prevent at all costs.  And I respect that.  His approach is just completely logical and then, even if an accident happens he has a mindset that I just respect.

Okay.  You're going to love this.  When I was young, about 10 years old, I would go to gather wood.  At that point there wasn't the prevalence of technology that there is today.  I would take the machete, chop the wood and bring it home to make a fire so that we could cook.  I probably had about five years like that before technology started appearing all over and finally reached all these places.  And just to get you a perspective, just to let you know we were living at that time as middle class without a stove.

So I went out to gather some wood.  I got to the tree and started cutting.  For just one swing I was not paying attention 100% and  *Boom*  I chopped my hand below the thumb.  The blade nearly went clean through.  My entire thumb was opened up and I held it bleeding as I ran home.

Now, if I went to my mother
she would be screaming and crying "Oh my God! My son is going to die! Oh my God!  Oh my God!"  But my father, in his own kind of genius reacted differently.  He took my hand immediately, "Let me see."  he said.  And went to work.

"Hold on Jose.  That is nothing.  It's already done, we're gonna cure."  he said almost shocked that I wasn't screaming or anything.  He goes and takes salt, lemon, a variety of medicinal tree extracts or whatever and wraps it up.  My entire thumb was open, almost completely gone.  I did not care what he did.  I had already cut it.  He dressed it with those things, wrapped it up to protect it and within three days I was healed.  No scars, no marks no nothing.  No doctors, no anastesia.  You know, it was like the Wild West or the Revolutionary War where they would amputate or treat or whatever.
Hah, I can hear my mother now screaming, "Oh my God!  Oh my God my son is dying!" and my father yelling back.  "Shut up!  It's already done!  Now we're gonna cure!  What?!  No screaming!  No crying!  For what?!  It's already done!"
So, that is the mindset of my father and I respect that about him a lot.
So these are the facts about preventing.  You do everything you can to prevent, but when something goes completely wrong you jump and get to fixing it.
It's like when I spoke with you about depression.  People don't take it seriously.  Your parents see you depressed and they say, "Ah, get yourself to work."  Look, if you see your kids depressed, you jump.  If you see your friend depressed, you jumpDo something.  Depression is the worst illness on the face of the Earth but nobody cares.  Anxiety is the same.  Why?  Because everybody one way or the other gets depressed.  Everybody one way or the other gets anxiety.  But did your mother ask you, "How long does your anxiety last?"  Did she ask you how long the depression lasts?
Look, right now if I get depressed I'm gonna kick it out in 10 minutes.  Why?  Because I am in shape.  Being in shape and eating well gets you out of that.  But what about if you are eating like shit?  Those people when they get depressed how long does it last?  1 day?  2 days?  A week?  Months?  Longer than that?  What about people born to be depressed?  Still their parents don't care until they drop dead or kill themselves or whatever.
You remember that I mentioned to you about J.S.? [Name abbreviated for privacy]  She's the only lady that in 1 day learned the entire 20 arm dummy.  I tried with Charles but I had to stop because his mind was blowing up.  J.S. 's mind was going and going and going and going and going and going.  She is the daughter of one of those famous inventors from Westport.  Since she was 15 I would call her all the time.  "Are you okay?  Are you okay?"  She was the first in her family to train Martial Arts with me and then she told me about her mother.  They called her the most beautiful person in Westport.  She was like a model.  Beautiful but depressed.  Divorced.  I could never get her here.  I told you before about her.  The day I scheduled her was on Monday and I had her scheduled for Thursday morning I believe about 10 o'clock.  So she had several days to get it together and get here.  I was waiting and waiting and waiting.  I tried to get her here earlier but I decided just to wait.
That same day, I believe, was the day that she hanged herself.
I was calling and calling and calling.  7 days later was when they found her.  Up to today I believe that if she would have opened the door and trained with me she would still be alive today.  If her daughter, J.S., would not have come over here for 3 or 4 years probably she would not be alive today.  Not long ago she called me, "Calasanz I am working out.  I am good.  I am healthy and eating well."  J.S. is going to be about 35 this year I believe.
 Okay?  So preventing.  Preventing.
Another example.  It just happened here in town locally.  Three kids just in high school died.  This is the thing that makes me angry, seeing how they died.  These kids were doing everything right, wearing seat belts, not drinking.  Probably the only thing was they didn't have parents telling them, "When its snowing go in the right lane.  Don't follow the trucks when it's snowing.  They have good tires and you do not.  They don't care, they just have a destination.  Stay safe.  Don't go so fast that if you start to slide you cannot stop the car because if you do you know you're going to crash." or whatever.  You know...  Probably I couldn't go on the road because I'd drive so slow everybody would be honking, "Hey move it!" slamming their horns.
You will see it.  If you go to channel 12 you will see it.  People doing it just like that.  It's snowing and slippery and everyone is going 40 or 50 miles per hour.  Some maybe more.  If it's snowing and slippery I don't care what sorts of tires I have, I would go 30... 20... 25... 15... heck, probably I would leave the car behind and go walking.  I'm gonna prevent that accident.  But is that a real life to live?  Probably not, but that is my belief that parents do not talk to their kids about preventing or at least not enough.  Parents must go reminding at all times.  There was no reason for that accident of those three kids.  Now one kid, very popular, from Staples is dead at what... 17?  18?  And two more of his friends.

I remember when I left the farm to go to the city.  About 90% of the children followed me and came with me.  That was the love that the people in my community had for me.  When I got to the city my father would be calling at all times. 
"Don't do this.  Be careful.  Don't go to that place.  If you go, you go protected.  Go with someone.  Okay, be careful, be careful, be careful.  But remember if they call me that you are sick, or you have an accident the first thing I'm going to ask is, 'Does he live?'"  If yes, okay he would get onto the horse or into the car depending where he is immediately and go.  If somebody would call him that I had an accident that wasn't prevented or whatever, "Okay, I'll be there in the next 2 days or so."
Thinking on this topic I am reminded of one of my friends.  One of my best students, P.M. [name abbreviated for privacy]  He was one of the first to invest in my school, in my name.  He was from a family in New Canaan.  This guy was the best guy.  Alan, he did it all for me.  I mean the guy just loved me.  He would drive me wherever , hold boards, he'd do anything for me.  And for me to know that he is dead because the family gave up on him.  It's very hard to take.  He was into carpentry with one of the best families in the town, but his family did not care.  When I finally heard that he overdosed I called the family and they hung up the phone on me because they gave up on him.  "Better of dead." they said.  They said, "You die or put it together."  And it was very hard to take.  The family gave up on him.

This is America you see?  When you are in the DR it's a different story than being an American.  In America they just move on.  They let you go.  They take care of you at first but if you go doing drugs they're gonna try to help you.  They're gonna try.  But it gets to a point that the typical American person is gonna say, "You know what?  Survive.  If you survive and use your brain then you're gonna be very successful."
If I have a kid I'm gonna try.  I'm gonna try to do the best I can and never give up. 
If I give up it's because I'm gonna put him in jail or... I'm not going to say it here...
So you see, that is my belief.  If I'm gonna give up could be that I say, "You know what son, I want you dying happy.  What is that you're doing?"
"Dad, I'm addicted to drugs."
"How much drugs do you want today son?"
"Dad I want one pound."
"Oh.  Here you are.  Come get it.  Do you want to take it all at once?"
You know.  Like that.
But when it comes to the American approach there's something very smart about it.  You know, some one just being in that condition, being depressed or an addict or whatever, they can bring 3 or 4 people with them.  You can kill your mother.  You can kill your dad.  You can kill your sister.  Even when they are just trying to cure you.

And that is a smart way if you look at how Americans work.  If you look at it, it is not that they are doing something very wrong.  All they're saying is, "All of us are going to drop dead trying to cure you because we feel that you don't have a cure.  So what about if we survive and we let you decide for your life."  Nothing is wrong with that.  But my judgement is that I do not give up.  And when I give up then I want the person to go happy.

Today I am part of one of the largest families in the DR.  In my family I was one of eleven children and now all of my sisters have 3 or 4 kids and my brothers all with children of their own.  Then we can count the grandchildren, probably there are 35 or more in our family in all and up to today it is a pure family.  There hasn't been one tragedy.  No one has been in trouble with the police or the law or whatever.  It is a pure family to this day and all is based on one thing:  
Inspired by: Calasanz