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A number of people have commented how a commonly-taught English version of this particular principle/precept
i.e. 
"do your work honestly" (or "I will do my work honestly") is quite different in meaning from the basic direct
translation:
"work hard"


We must remember that on one level, the Gokai are a 'mnemonic device' - an aid to mindful remembrance.

In the simple statements of the gokai are to be found a distillation Usui-sensei's teachings - the very essence of his Reiho - his 'Spiritual Method'

And as such they will of necessity allow for many levels of interpretation

Perhaps it is also important to be mindful that much can be lost in literal translation.

In Japanese, this particular Principle is "Gyo wo hage me"

While this is commonly translated as: "Work Hard",  it can also mean 'Study Hard'

And in a broader sense, it can imply:

"Strive to improve yourself"
(on any and all levels - physically, mentally, emotionally, ethically, morally, spiritually; your skills and abilities, your relationships, your standard of living - your quality of living)

The general sentiment behind the principle would seem to be:

"Be diligent in your endeavours"

- don't be lazy

Yet another way of expressing the sentiment is:

"Put your Heart and Soul into all that you do"

It can also have a sense of "Dedication to the task at hand"

In yet another sense, "Gyo wo hage me" can tie in with the Japanese concept of giri - duty or (moral/ethical)obligation.

So, it can also speak to a sense of duty/obligation to, for example. our teachers

and also, to those who give us employment.

Takata-sensei often phrased this principle along the lines of:

"Earn thy living by honest labor"

which perhaps has as much, if not more, to do with the old adage:
"An honest day's work for an honest day's pay - An honest day's pay for an honest day's work"
*
as it does with
"earn your living honestly"
which, IMO, speaks more to earning your living without deceiving others.




____________

* 'honest' and 'fair' being seen as interchangeable here

 

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