Senbu copySomethings can't be helped and no matter what we say, think or do, we have to accept the reality of the situation. Whenever the situation could not be changed and we had to just accept it, my mom would say with a shrug, "It's shogani."  Shoganai roughly translates to "It can't be helped."

Years ago, I asked Furuya Sensei about his family’s experience during World War II and the internment camps.  I asked him, “It must have been terrible, did they ever talk about it?”  With a shrug he said, “It was shoganai” and then he said, "It was war and things happen in war."  Sensei didn’t say another word about it.  At the time I took his silence as a sign that he didn't want to talk about it.  Later as I got older, I realized that it wasn't that he didn't want to talk about it but that there wasn't anything more to say about it because it was shoganai.

I think one of the greatest things and some of the pivotal things that helped the Japanese and Japanese Americans recover from WWII were these things like shoganai.  How can we move forward if we are always stuck in the past?

Things happen and some things cannot be fixed.  When they cannot be fixed, they must be accepted and that's shoganai.  From shoganai we accept it and we move on.

In budo, the highest level is when we can attain the non-abiding mind.  The non-abiding mind is one that is fluid and does not dwell.  It is in this fluidity that we find the ability to accept something as it comes and move through it - that is shoganai.  There is a great quote that Hagrid says in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, “What’s comin’ will come, an’ we’ll meet it when it does.”

What comes will come and it is going to come and that is shoganai.