Nothing is really important unless it is important to you. I recently read this article (link below) about a house in France where the owners of the house have left one of the rooms untouched since WWI.  Apparently, the original owners were so grief stricken that their son was killed in WWI that they left his room exactly the way he left it before he went off to battle.  When the parents sold the house they put a stipulation that the room go untouched for 500 years.  Oddly enough, despite the fact that the stipulation isn't legal, the room has been kept untouched and the house has changed hands a few times.  The current owner hopes his children keep up the tradition but stated, " I don't give a damn. What happens after me, generally speaking, I don't care.... But I think it would be a shame to get rid of all this."

A couple of years ago, someone broke something that belonged to the dojo.  I saw this thing in the trash and asked everyone what happened to which most replied, "I don't know."  Later that day a new student told me that one of the senior students sat on it and broke it.  The broken item wasn't what upset me, but how the senior students reacted.  Nobody even cared enough to take responsibility and many of them attempted to cover it up.  The item was worth no more than a few hundred dollars, but the significance was that it was one of Sensei's personal belongings.  The item can be replaced, but its sentimental value can never be replaced now that it is gone.

Things are only important to us if we think they are important.  An antique baseball card can fetch 2.1 million dollars or a 13th century Kamakura era sword can be purchased for $400,000, but its only real value or importance is to the person buying it.  I certainly wouldn't buy a sword for $400,000, but I did buy an autographed copy of Kodo for $50.00.  So I guess it is relative.

The point is that in order to find something important we must care.  In Japanese culture they believe that everything has an inherent value and thus should be treated with respect.  The thinking is that to find value and respect for other people or other things is to find value and respect for yourself.  Please take care of your dojo and treat it with the utmost care and respect.  It really is important.