I WENT TO THE CAPITAL, AND I FOUND A SAMURAI
Last Summer, I had the chance to spend some days in Rome. Being Italian, it shouldn’t sound so original, but I live in Milan, and I had a few occasions to visit Rome in my life.
The first impression was: how the (beep) it’s huge! A few people know that Rome is the biggest capital in the Eurozone. It could host 12 Paris, just to give an idea. But everyone knows it is named The Eternal City due to its immeasurable historic heritage. So, if you join these two facts, you can imagine how many archeological sites, museums, and monuments we could visit. Indeed, we had a great time there, as I love history.
We were lucky enough to find two archeologists who guided us on our tours. They were so expert, that they made us enjoy the tours, despite the hot weather and the many people around. We were involved in the tales about emperors and the history of buildings, as the two guides made their explanations mixing real facts with legends and ironic stories.
They have been able to make the tours so pleasant, that I found myself reminding the quote:
Go to the CapitalLeo Gough
The suggestion was taken from the Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi.
Miyamoto Musashi was a samurai, exceptionally skilled with his katana. He won lots of duels and he left this book as a summary of his philosophy and his teaching.
The quote I have mentioned is in the very beginning. The samurai explained that only in the Capital city of his country he could face the most skilled duelers. Besides, only in the Capital, there were the best schools as the competition was at its top level.
While I was listening to the archeologists in Rome, I understood what he meant: of course, the best archeologists are gathering in the most important sites: Egypt, Greece, some towns in Italy, and the many sites located around the world. Of course, they get more and more skilled, as they relate to other top experts. So, I was pleased, but not surprised and I had a confirmation of the ancient teaching: go to the Capital.
In our times, if you are not an archeologist, you can meet the same expectations in the main centers of every occupation, might it be for work or for a hobby.
For example, if I were an IT student, I think I would go to Silicon Valley to find the information and teachings I would be looking for. I am sure I would find the best teachers and mentors there, and I would probably find the best “travel companions” with whom I could relate. For example, one of the best universities of Anthropology is located in Australia, a country with a vivid melting pot and a deep connection with the aboriginal community.
Going to Capital doesn’t mean only finding the best and the most updated information. As the samurai says, you would also find top-notch duelers.
The competition is at its top, in places known as the “temples of…” Imagine the competition in the financial field in a town like New York. Or, imagine how many competitors for a role an actor can find in Hollywood.
But this is what could bring you to challenge yourself, even before others. Finding a competitive environment can make us find unexpected abilities in ourselves. It’s only when we challenge ourselves that we find how brave we can be, or how well-organized we are, although unexpectedly.
Self-challenging is the hardest training we can undertake, but it is the way that achievers get their greatest results. While I am writing, there are the winter Olympic games. An Italian skier has just won the silver medal, although she broke her knee 23 days before the race. Her team thought that the Olympics were finished for her, even before starting, but she did not give up. She went to Beijing to “test her legs”, and she felt she could compete. At that moment, she was in the Capital, she found the best duelers and found in herself the courage to challenge them.
It is a long work, as Miyamoto Musashi says, you spend your whole life to get better and better, to achieve your goals, and to refine your skills. It is a lifelong path, but do not forget that, the Capital, the Eternal City wasn’t built in a day. Neither your skills should be.