Paraphrased From the Bible:
A teacher is walking through the desert, his students all around him. Suddenly, a horse jumps gallantly off a nearby outcropping onto the path in front of the group. The man sitting astride is enthusiastic to find the teacher. “You must come teacher. Your friend is dying!” The teacher keeps walking. “Teacher, the family said you are a friend and their brother needs help. He is dying!” The teacher looks up at the man on the horse with gratitude for the information. His students are baffled by his non-challance, gossiping amongst themselves, yet the teacher continues to walk in the same direction away from his friend. Later, about three days later to be almost exact, the teacher arrives at his friend’s tomb and begins to invoke the divine, bringing him back to life in front of a large group of people.
A woman on her last legs to enlightenment crosses paths with a bent and tired old man carrying a bundle of wood on his back. She watches as the man loses his balance, all the wood falling to the ground. It’s her choice, her final test, whether to stay and help him pick up the wood or to walk on.
Taken From Life:
A mentor asks a student to live in her studio while they train together. The student uses all the mentor’s supplies and resources, though she has enough of her own untapped resources to share with the mentor. The student doesn’t know that she and her mentor are actually equals in this way, though the mentor sees the truth. This is the only real difference between the student and the mentor.
One day, after the student’s resources were as fully cultivated in this environment as they ever would be, the mentor asks the student to leave, giving the student very short notice. The student can’t believe it. “I love it here,” she cries out. “I don’t want to leave; this is my home now!” The mentor has no sympathy and pretends not to care. “You aren’t the right person to continue here. I am looking for someone who can be truly present in this place,” the mentor replies. Of course this angers the student and she stomps off, never to look back; well almost never. The student becomes very successful and soon surpasses the mentor, though she is grateful and humble.
Taken From Life:
A student was happily living her life after a trip to see family for one month. One day after she’d returned to her home, she received a call about her father being ill in the hospital. She was in communication with each member of her family, every day. No matter how many times she contacted them about the status of her father, no one returned her calls.
Extended family and long-time family friends started calling to ask her what was going on and why she wasn’t “home” with her father. In fact, two of the women in her brother’s family, who lived down the street from her parents, called ranting about a lack of communication and wanted the student to make it better for them.
One of the women raged at the student, “It’s your job! You should be here to take care of your mother while your father is ill. Your brother is stressed and now I have to handle all this for you!”
“What can I possibly do,” the student asked. “I can’t get any more information than you and I live 1500 miles away.”
Fear and guilt immediately pulsed through her body and her mind started roiling. Reactively she wondered, “should I go back and do my job?” This was her typical response and normally she would have fallen into the obligation she’d carried her whole life.
This time, she did not act. Instead, she waited for the emotions to pass, eventually sending a message to the two women. ”I no longer pick up sticks!”