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Identify and Reject the Negative to Develop Positive Traits

If you look at the titles of my books, you can see a formula. They list karate kids’ positive traits, followed by “A Dojo Kun Character Book on ______.” The blank is where the title mentions fighting the corresponding negative character trait or traits. Those negative traits produced a source of controversy among my new thought friends.

I am blessed and grateful to have new thought friends and mentors who focus on the positive. I am grateful for the input from those people as I develop my karate picture books. More than one of them has recommended not listing the negative character traits in the books’ titles. But as you can see, the negative words and traits remain.

One reason I kept the negative character traits is that I thought it was important for children to learn to recognize them. A way to help kids do this is to call the traits by name. (The books’ story lines also show the negative traits in the actions of the main characters.) When we identify the bad guy, then we can recognize the importance of fighting the bad guy. Then fight him/her, and thus develop the positive traits. When the titles mention good traits and then their opposing bad traits, that is duality. Analyzing duality helps us learn about the world.

If I Knew Then What I Know Now About Negative & Positive Traits

More recently, I have learned about rejecting the negative in order to create more room for the positive. If I had studied the power of denial before creating the title for my first book, the titles may have taken on a slightly different formula. Perhaps “The Can-Do Karate Kid: Fight Laziness and Procrastination.” Or even “Fight Laziness and Procrastination like the Can-Do Karate Kid!” I probably would have streamlined the title by leaving out the “Dojo Kun Character Book” part. However, an editor recommended keeping “Dojo Kun” because it adds intrigue to the title. What do you think?

Since the inception of the series, all of my karate picture books (four so far) have positive traits and their opposites. They all have “A Dojo Kun Character Book on…” in the middle of the title. And so the title of a series was born. It has been quite an adventure creating my Dojo Kun Character Books. I am in the midst of creating the fifth book now. And the second one will be coming out in Spanish very soon. The adventure continues.

-Jenifer Tull-Gauger

Jenifer Tull-Gauger Kyoshi

Children's picture book author/illustrator. Traditional karate teacher and practitioner. Loves drawing and all kinds of art. Also into animals, plants and Mother Nature.

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