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Anand BhaskarGuest Author

The Invisible Teacher

Source | Anand Bhaskar

In a small town in Kerala, there was a distraught young man who was struggling in this career. He took up various jobs, but nothing was working out for him. Over 10 years, he felt his career was going nowhere. Many of his friends had reached high places and were earning good money, but this young man was finding it hard to make ends meet.

One Sunday, while he was looking through the window he saw a Monk walking down the street. He recalled that he had seen the same Monk many times over the last few years and started wondering where he goes each Sunday. Along with his curiosity, occurred a thought that he should walk up to the Monk and share his woes. So he did. The distraught young man quickly wore his slippers, ran out of the house calling out the Monk. The Monk was a young man in his early 20’s, he stopped and turned around on hearing this distraught man calling out at him.

Who are you and what do you want? Asked the Monk. My name is Raghav, said the distraught young man. I want to speak to you for a few minutes. The Monk replied, sure but for that you will have to walk along with me to the Monastery as I have a prayer to attend. Raghav readily agreed.

Monk: So, how can I help you?

Raghav: I have been struggling last many years in my life and I have no one to speak with. Will you be my teacher and help me work through the struggles of my life?

Monk: I am not sure what you want me to do, but I can definitely listen to what you have to say.

Soon Raghav started narrating his woes, how people have been unfair to him, challenges in life and work, how money has been hard to come etc. etc. The Monk & Raghav reached the Monastery and the Monk who was attentively listening so far sought a break to attend his prayers for 30 minutes. Raghav quietly watched how calm and unruffled the Monk was as he followed all the rituals & completed his prayers.
After the prayers, the Monk walked back to Raghav.

Monk: I heard your story. I am sorry to hear that you feel you are going through so much hardship in life. What I do not still understand is why are you sharing this with me and what do you want from me?

Raghav: I want you to be my teacher. I think I have not had a good teacher all my life. My school teachers were bad, my father and I did not get along, my mother is uneducated, I have not had a good boss at work, etc. etc. and Raghav again went on & on as to how unfair life has been to him.
Monk: Raghav, what makes you believe I am a good teacher?

Raghav: I have observed you last many months, you have a discipline, you walk up here to the Monastery each day, same time, do your prayers, you are so calm & unruffled, you amaze me with what you have achieved.

Monk: In your entire narration so far, you have talked about career success, growth, money & fame etc. I have achieved none of this, so what makes you believe that I have achieved a lot?

Raghav was now a bit confused. He did not have an answer to this question.

Raghav: I do not know how to answer this question. I am very disturbed; I need a teacher to help me.

Monk: When you called out to me an hour ago, you did not know me at all. Yet you called me out. In the last one-hour you have invited me to be your teacher. You watched me go by your house for last many months, yet I was invisible to you so far. How many such invisible teachers are walking past you each day and you are not observing them. How many invisible incidents are occurring to you or occurring around you each day and you are not observing them. Raghav, you do not need me as your teacher, you need to observe & learn from people, events, occasions, happenings & life around you and what is happening to you. There are numerous invisible teachers around you & one teacher within you, teaching you daily something very precious. The day you start observing them, they will become visible. Your life & its experience is your biggest teacher. Recognise its power, embrace it and learn from it.

Raghav was spell bound by the wise words of the Monk. He thanked the Monk and walked back home in deep thought.

How many of us have ever thought what attitude we wear each day towards life? How are we learning & what are we learning? Are we gathering these precious pearls or letting them roll off our palms like lost wealth?

Thoughts…..

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Anand BhaskarA professional, an entrepreneur, a humanist & thought leader with 25+ years of Industry experience across varied sectors – Petroleum, FMCG, Financial Services, IT Product and Digital & IT Services. Worked with well respected companies such as BPCL, Unilever, GE, Microsoft & Sapient.Specialties: Executive Coaching, Management & HR Consulting in the area of business & HR strategy, Org design & change, Talent Management and Leadership coaching & development. Professional Certified Coach (PCC) from International Coaching Federation (ICF), USA.

He is currently the Founder & Head of Planet Ganges, a Global Learning & Collaboration Eco-System leveraging “digital” to bring global learners, learning providers, corporates & universities on one platform to collaborate & enable boundary-less learning opportunities for every human on the planet.

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