MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “teaching”

The story of a needle and a thread

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Take this,” the Master presented his young Disciple with a thin piece of thread and a tiny needle.  The young one took it in reverence. He was terrified that if he dropped it he wouldn’t able to find it again.

The task is to pass the thread through the needle five consecutive times. Consecutive,” he stressed the last word.

The young boy gasped. Surely his Master wasn’t serious.

Consecutive?” he emphasised it too. “But that’s impossible”.

The Master said nothing. He turned around and left, leaving the boy to his task.

It took the Disciple ten times alone to simply pass the needle through the thread the first time.

He was already tired. That’s when the little devil inside him began to speak. His Master wouldn’t know if he hadn’t accomplished the task. Or if the five times were not consecutive.

But then that other voice appeared. The one his Master had infiltrated his mind with. “But you would know”.

The boy continued. He had managed three consecutive times. And then after what seemed like hours, four. But five seemed literally unachievable.

He stopped. Cleared his head for a minute and inhaled deeply. He looked across the horizon and experienced every sound and smell present around him.

Then he began again more determined than before.

And all of a sudden, he had done it. He himself couldn’t quite believe it. He yelled in excitement, so loudly his Master came almost running. He smiled at his Disciple.

What did this teach you?”’ There was always something to be learnt.

That nothing is impossible?” The young boy was hoping this was the right answer. His Master disliked that the boy was missing the point of the exercises by trying to find a “correct” answer without being certain of it.

What did you receive from it?

Irritation, anxiety, anger….but then determination, strong-will, and…patience. Patience, above all”.

The Master smiled. “Nothing is truly impossible. We just need the patience to discover it can be done”.

Teaching how to disassemble the chaos

http://www.newyorker.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/O-Neill-X-Games-on-Ice-1200.jpgShe screamed something incomprehensible, slammed her hands on the table, sturdily got up and left the room. If there were a door, she would have slammed it in anger.

He remained staring at the empty seat. Motionless. Unreactive. He had become accustomed to such bursts of anxiety, as he called them. He knew that she would soon blow off steam and come to realise that he was right all along. But that was something she should do on her own. She needed the space to calm down and process it all. He knew she could do more. She just had to believe it too.

She soon returned embarrassed but full of thirst for more. He had succeeded in awakening her desire to improve. To reach the potential he had seen in her from the very first day.

She loved ice-skating. It was the perfect combination of dance, expression and imagination. And on the ice, she felt more liberated than ever. It brought some tranquility to her otherwise chaotic life. Because no matter what went on at home, during her busy schedule, or in the world in general, on that ice rink she forgot it all, and got lost in the music, allowing it to drift her away, into a parallel universe, a utopia.

She was a smart girl, craving knowledge, demonstrating a general interest in everything that surrounds us, and with a fantasy as large and open as her heart.  She generally respected her teachers, especially those who inspired her and taught her to love learning. Those who showed her where to look, but left her to see things for herself. The ones who taught her to be critical of everything she heard, and, no matter what, to always try and improve; to compete, not with others, but with herself.

But the one who she loved the most was her ice-skating teacher. He was the once who acted as a mentor, a guide, a psychotherapist, a friend, a family member. He was so much more than a teacher and that is why she could so freely unleash every emotion in front of him. Because she knew he would understand. And he would support her either way.

Like Albert Einstein had said, “it is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge”. Because it is a fact that the (right) teachers are the ones who create all other professions, the ones who inspire you to be the best you can be, and to find some order in the chaos that is our world.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Chaos

A Journalist by any other name…

twitter-journalismThe other day, as I was blissfully walking across one of the city’s busiest shopping streets (no, I had not bought anything, strangely enough, and yes that does happen), I had an interesting encounter.

A young man was trying to promote a beauty salon and caught my attention with a joke. He asked me what I do. When I responded that (among others) I am a journalist, he frowned and said “well, I can understand the rest, but that, I am not so thrilled about”.

It got me thinking. Why do journalists have such a bad name? And since when? I grew up believing it was so cool to be a journalist, a reporter roaming the streets, cities and countries in search of news, and always being the first to find out exciting information.  It was an ideal job.

But now? Now, journalists are one of the most underpaid and overworked professions there are, with citizen journalists trying to steal the show, and all these social media attempting to take over traditional forms of information.

Journalists have gained a bad name. Why? Because there are so many bad ‘journalists’ out there, that it makes the rest (of us) look bad too.

Everyone suddenly thinks they can be a writer, a journalist, a reporter. Because it is easy to just sit and write whatever comes to mind. But not everyone can express this adequately. And this is something few realize. A journalist is more than a writer and a storyteller. It is a person who searches after news, who can sense what is newsworthy, worthy of reporting; who can understand what the public is concerned about, and who can express it in such a way that every citizen/reader can understand what it is s/he is saying. It is about being concise, comprehensive and to the point. It is about being able to challenge the status quo when necessary, prompt change, and above all make the reader think.

In today’s digital and socially interconnected world, real journalism has lost its meaning. Instead it has become what Frank Zappa called “rock journalism” and most of it “is people who can’t write, interviewing people who can’t talk, for people who can’t read”. And media today have become associated with this bad journalism.

Trying to stand out of the crowd in this storm isn’t easy. But they say that s/he who perseveres wins, and what is more, there is always the faith that a good journalist will never get lost. At least in a world where people still strive for perfection, quality journalism will remain a necessity always searched for…

Also part of NaBloPoMo (November 2013)

Also part of Daily Prompt: Teach Your (Bloggers) Well

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