The Unlikely Teacher


We run after ivy leagues and IIM’s to seek knowledge. No harm in it but what about the knowledge available around us.

Learning in not limited to books, degrees and institutions, its limited only to our thirst and what it takes to quench it.

It is infact an enlightning experience, what little things can teach you. I have heard, felt and experienced this serendipity. Here is a story that compells me to look out, be open and learn every time I remember it.

Gautam buddha was sitting underneath a banayan tree, meditating.On the other side of the tree two local musicians met and were discussing their work.

One of them wanted to learn the ‘ektara’, to increase his expertise.
The other musician, to express his expertise, started talking about the ektara.
He said ” The ektara is a beautiful instrument. If you want to learn how to play it , you must first learn how to tune the string. Make it too loose and it will not sound desirable, make it too tight and it will break.”
He concluded by repeating “not too tight, not too loose”

Buddha left his meditation and jumped up to stand. It was almost like someone had told him something unbelieveable.

He had realized the secret to happiness or ‘moksha’.

Like the string for the ektara, too much or too little of anything is the reason for most sorrow.

Be it money, love, knowledge or even life. This philosophy gave birth to the idea of ‘madhyama marga‘ or the middle path.

How many such opportunities have we missed, is anybody’s guess.

I see people with books and e books alike, not appreciating the simple logic in things or using it to make life better.

Why use blunt force when you can use physics! and it is not necessarily in books.

While discussing negotiation skills with a group of professionals form a Telecom company. I learnt a new lesson.

It was the story of an ongoing negotiation between them and a network giant where both of them were fighting their corners ,die hard. Eventually, they stopped listening to each other, did not let the other person speak, and finally quit conversations.

Untill an year later, a change of management got them to dig up the initial proposals that were shared and to everybody’s astonishment, they proposed the same resolution. This infers that they kept arguing with each other while saying the same thing.

This tought me to ‘shut up and listen’ while negotiating. The knowledge from the books can be brought in only later. Basics are basically always around us.

This is an everyday thing but when is it that we stop applying logic and start using our biceps to think.

It is very interesting how things get done around us, how a rickshaw puller manages to paddle all day, how a chefs kitchen produces food in 20 minutes or less, how the courier guy always find the address.

Their techniques can teach us tonnes.

The only question you need to ask is ‘HOW’? go ask …

Advertisements

One thought on “The Unlikely Teacher

  1. Awesome post Abhinandan 🙂
    Yes, there are all teachers voyaging around here and there. A beggar in the street, a grocery shopkeeper, a lady waiting in the bus-stand, a rude waiter in the restaurant, a beautiful baby and countless other people who just show up in our daily life to teach us something. But the question is, are we willing to learn from everyone, from nice people and from rude ones too? We need to pause and think for a while !

    God bless you dear

Comments are closed.