Students emulate black belts. They do not separate the black belt from the person, so, if they see a black belt outside the dojang, they see the person as a black belt, not as a regular person. Many times, black belts are noticed and watched by students outside the dojang without being aware they are being watched. This means black belts must exemplify the virtues of Taekwondo at all times. Black belts must practice what they preach, at all times, inside or outside the dojang. One false move at an unsuspected moment that is witnessed by a student may negatively affect the student's Taekwondo career and even his or her life.
During his trial in 399 BC for being disrespectful by not keeping his opinions to himself, the Greek philosopher Socrates said he led "an examined life, "that everything he said or did was scrutinized because of his position in society. However, Socrates also said, "The unexamined life is not worth living." Being a black belt means you will be living an examined life, but, if you are up to the challenge, it will be worthwhile. Being a black belt is an awesome responsibility; if you are not ready to accept the responsibility, do not accept or keep the black belt.