It seems like a good day for a story…
A wise old master recalled a story from a century ago, where a young martial arts student came to a large city in Japan. The student began asking about martial arts schools in the area, as he wished to train during his stay. The local residents provided him with a number of local schools that were considered good.
The student travelled throughout the city and found a small, unknown dojo that was nestled in a quiet back alley, away from the beaten path. He trained for several classes until his skill was recognized and spoken about throughout the city.
Some of the masters heard of the student’s skill and asked him why he was training at this unknown school. The masters indicated that this school was reasonably unskilled, their techniques were inadequate and their students weren’t very strong. The student bowed his head humbly and responded to the masters:
“No matter the status of the school, no matter their reputation… Training with them is a win-win situation for everyone. If they have something worth teaching, I will learn it. If they have nothing to teach me, perhaps I can help them learn something. Either way, there will be an exchange of knowledge. And that can only benefit everyone involved…”
The point is, we often don’t understand the influence we have on others. I’ve had instructors and teachers who have taught me so much, but they have carried on, never knowing the impact or the amount of knowledge they’ve passed on to me (you likely know who you are!)
Be certain to take every opportunity to pass on your knowledge to the best of your ability. Sometimes, the rewards of passing on our knowledge can outweigh the rewards of gaining something from the places we travel through.
That student was travelling and sought out to learn something. The important lesson here, is that we can always earn something important when we teach. And we often learn just as much when we pass on what we already know. ☯