I appreciate the message of kindness and empathy expressed in Terry’s story. Like so many of us, Terry had been told something, but didn’t quite grasp the true meaning until he had witnessed and experienced the actual event.
After Terry wrote about this event, it was published numerous times with the title, “The Train Story.” In 2019, I had the privilege of meeting Sensei Robert Nadeau. Robert and Terry were friends and were two of only a handful of westerners who had trained directly with Morihei Ueshiba, the Founder of Aikido. Robert (he told me to call him Robert) was very gracious and invited my daughter and me into City Aikido and even invited me to train with him the following morning. While we were visiting about Terry, Robert asked if I knew “The Story of the Persimmon Tree.” Since I did not make the connection with “The Train Story,” Robert recounted it for me, almost word for word, from Terry’s writing. With Robert’s focus on the persimmon tree and the older gentleman’s kindness, I felt like I was listening to a different story.
Reading Terry Dobson’s story above provides a lesson in kindness. Hearing Sensei Robert Nadeau tell the persimmon story led me to an even deeper understanding of O’Sensei’s message of peace, love, and understanding.
“True victory does not come from defeating an enemy. True victory comes from giving love and changing an enemy’s heart.” - Morihei Ueshiba