I studied a martial art called Uechi-Ryu, and one of the customs in our school was, after you completed a bow, to say, “Oss.”
If you wanted to indicate you had finished an exercise? “Oss.”
Need a break? “Oss.”
It seemed to mean all kinds of things, so one night after class I asked Sensei what “Oss” means.
I wanted to know the definitions of it.
He looked at me, paused sort of thoughtfully, and said, “Oss is Oss.”
I was frustrated by that answer because I felt like it didn’t get at what I was asking.
It’s one of the realities of life: We can ask all kinds of questions, but that doesn’t mean the answer we get is particularly satisfying.
And sometimes in life we don’t get an answer at all.
An example of that might be when a loved one suddenly passes away there may be no answer as to why… or if you look back over your life and have a question about something you did you’re not so proud of: Why that happened might not be immediately knowable.
I think we have two superpowers in life.
One superpower is the ability to ask questions and to learn.
The second superpower is to handle whatever happens after we ask a question, because there might not be an answer.
Or the answer may not satisfy our curiosity. It doesn’t scratch the itch that led to the question in the first place.
But if we develop that second superpower, then we can make meaning out of the situations where there isn’t an answer, most likely by turning to ourselves and learning more about our own values and our own purpose in life.
The ability to get some meaning out of that experience is important.
I suppose if I consider Sensei’s answer, I can tap that second superpower, stop being frustrated, and realize he was giving me the freedom to use that word in any way that I felt was meaningful.
I wish you success developing both of those superpowers.