I love the wisdom of the ages. Most probably because it is centuries old and time has proven its veracity. One such snippet of wisdom is the ancient Chinese proverb which states, When the student is ready, the Teacher arrives. This is so true and it does not matter how valuable, worthwhile or needed the lesson is, until we are open to receive it, we will block it from ourselves.
The greatest arena of learning and the best of teachers is Life itself. The Teacher, Life, is a bit like sound waves transmitted from radio signals, always out there but we need to be switched on and tuned in if we are to receive the message. Learning is three dimensional and when we are ready to move on to a higher level of enlightenment, a deeper level of understanding and a wider scope of vision, the Teacher with the particular lesson we are ready for, will arrive. The Teacher may arrive in a variety of forms and I would like to share some of the ways the Teacher has arrived in my life and hopefully you are able to relate to these.
The Teacher may arrive in the form of a person. Knowing this gives the people around us, whether they be family, friends, colleagues or even strangers a greater value. People are placed in our lives precisely because they have something to share with us, and we with them, from which we can all be enriched. I am sure you recognise instances in your life when the right person has arrived at the right time and this has lead to the next stage of your development.
The Teacher may arrive in the form of an experience. We all learn through experience. Some would say experience is the best teacher; that we learn from our mistakes. If we refuse to learn from our mistakes, we will find the same situations keep presenting themselves, until we get the message and put this lesson in place, only then can we move on. Keep in mind that Life’s lessons are meant to make us better, not bitter.
The Teacher may arrive in the form of pain. Pain is a fantastic teacher; it really tends to get our attention. I love the way Kahil Gilbran puts it in his book The Prophet. He writes, Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. Truly the baptism of pain forges an understanding which becomes part of our inner being. The general rule of thumb is the more painful the experience; the more valuable the lesson.
The Teacher may arrive in the form of a book. Have you ever started to read a book but were not able to get into it, so you put it back on the shelf only to pick it up at another time and simply devour it because it contained a message you were now ready to receive. Reading books is life changing and of course the is one Book, the best Book, divinely written, precisely for that purpose.
The teacher may arrive in the form of a conviction. A thought which seems to float in from nowhere but settles upon us and motivates us into action. We step out in faith, into the darkness, take that risk and the Teacher is waiting there in unknown.
Like all good Teachers, Life sets us a few tests. Just checking to see if we are switched on and tuned in. Have we been paying attention? Did we learn anything from our last disaster? The one big lesson Life wants to teach us is that nothing changes until we change ourselves; our attitudes; our behaviours and our expectations.
We are all students of Life, and the wise, regardless of age, wealth, or achievement are open and ready to receive and learn. Likewise we are all teachers, the wise Teacher does not impose on or impart to another their own wisdom, but rather with humility and through kindness and love share of themselves truthfully and in doing so will bring the student to their own threshold of understanding. On entering the student is then in possession of their own wisdom. Wisdom is the greatest treasure in life. In the words of Solomon, Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.
I am so thankful to all of my teachers and the opportunity to be a life long learner.
When the Student is ready, the Teacher arrives. Therefore, let the Student be ready!