The wisest, sanest person I ever met said that sustained unselfish application of compassion in the service of others leads in time to a certain degree of renown, even fame. But, she added, this is entirely unimportant. It is at best an irrelevance, and at worst a distraction. The truly selfless person is unconcerned with such matters, and continues undisturbed in their path: yet, paradoxically, by this very action they inspire others to follow their example.
Scattered everywhere throughout this site, among the writeups, on numerous home nodes, and very obviously in people’s thoughts and hearts, is Sensei. By the time I first came here, Sensei had already stopped visiting, and so I have never spent even an hour 'in his company'. Yet I have been touched time and again by the respect and affection with which so many of the more established members of this community regard him. His influence is apparent everywhere, and his presence is clearly keenly missed.
I cannot know what Sensei said nor how he said it. But I have been fortunate enough to know at least one person with the gift to inspire others to strive for the greater, higher aspects of humanity; and by those I mean patience, compassion, love, honesty, friendship; all of the beautiful things which humans are capable of and which move the heart and touch the spirit of others. Thus, I recognize Sensei’s unseen face. Every one of us does on some level, because the beauty of true humanity speaks to all humans.
I am certain that Sensei did not seek popularity, renown, or reputation for himself. Yet even in his absence, Sensei’s example is still present here, it is still at work. His influence touches even those of us who have never spoken a word to him. Long may it continue.
I have thought long and hard about posting this. I understand that some of those who know Sensei personally may perhaps find it uncomfortable to hear a newbie speak about him in this way. But I was genuinely moved to write this, and have in fact wanted to write something along these lines for some time now. I firmly believe that those who act unselfishly change the whole world in some small degree with each selfless action. This writeup is therefore as much a mark of gratitude as it is respect. I sincerely hope it does not offend anyone.