Lesson: True Warriors have no reason to be cruel. They do not need to prove their strength. Warriors are courteous even to their enemies. Warriors are not only respected for their strength in battle but also by their dealings with others.
Meditation: The true strength of a Warrior becomes apparent during difficult times.
Musings: You do not have to be a bully to get what you want. Rudeness and impolite behaviour are often signs of inner weakness or insecurity. The truly powerful have no need to raise their voices. Those secure in their strength do not belittle others in order to prove themselves. Be cordial and civil to both friend and foe, colleague and stranger, to those above you and those below. Be courteous in word and deed to the elderly, whether they are of a high station in society or not. Do not abuse the weak and the defenceless but rather, where possible, take up the cause of the downtrodden and fight on behalf of those unable to fight for themselves. Do not show disdain to the widow, the orphan and the damsel in distress. Do not sneer at people when they are down but rather, if you can, help them up so they can, like you, stand with dignified pride and rise above their present state.
Above all, if Fate has blessed you and put you in a position of great authority, do not mock and belittle the impoverished, uneducated and less fortunate who come before you. Guard your tongue lest your hard unfeeling words, falling from a great height, crush the spirit of the less fortunate.
The text I use for the Lesson and Mediation come from the Bushido Seven page on the website of the Traditional Karate Centre in Wilmette, IL, USA. They own the copyright. The rest of the essay is compiled from my own meagre musings on the subject.
On the first Friday of each month, I hope to post another Samurai Value. Traditionally, there are seven bushido virtues in all, so if everything goes as planned, this will take us from June to December.