People often feel superior to others in varied respects. So much so, that they feel the other person is below the stature of learning something from. They view that person with such condescension that they fail to gather any useful information/mannerisms/habits/lessons from them.
I have generally not been put in that category and neither do I treat others as my inferior. However, I must admit that I too have sometimes written off people as stupid or “I don’t know” and failed to learn what I could from them. There is a mentally challenged or intellectually disabled (whichever term you prefer) person in my locality. The person drools, can’t speak properly and is incapable of attending school. A doctor comes daily to help him learn how to walk and channelize emotions. I never thought that this person could teach me something. After all, the person isn’t such an expert on, say, mathematics or anything useful for me, right? Wrong. Absolutely wrong. I was cycling on this little gym-type fixed bicycle we have in the verandah and gazing at the birds flying towards their nests after a hustling day when I heard a sudden commotion. The person was out for his daily walk when he saw a little puppy on the road. I’m sure others noticed it too. Suddenly a car came on the road at a high speed. It was at the other end. I think everyone pretty much knew that the future of the puppy was non-existent when they saw the car racing that way. However, the person pushed his doctor, slid on the road and towards the other side, the puppy safe in the person’s arms and the person just missed the car by an inch. The car driver, guiltless, drove on.
I was shocked. I would have never done that except for if it had been someone I loved. I do not suggest that people should jump in front of cars every time they see one but I did learn about being more compassionate towards animals and treating them as having as much right to life as we do. I learnt that no matter what our age/gender/intellectual capacities are, we can do something good. But most importantly, that day, I learnt that everyone, including those people we cannot imagine in our wildest dreams, have something to teach us. It is upto us to learn or let go of the opportunity.
That being said, I would like to mention that those whom I’ve learnt the most from are my teachers (and that includes my family, esp. parents). While my parents have been teaching me so much since I was born, I cannot even count what all they’ve taught me. To be honest, I am what I am because they are what they are. My teachers however entered my life at the stage I can remember about, even if not much. While some taught me to stay strong, others taught me to fall and fall but only to rise again. One taught me to believe in my power and the other, to believe in God and my family. The most influential, perhaps, are my current teachers. Maybe because it is such a crucial time of my life where I am preparing for my future and it all depends on how much I study and maybe because it’s the first time I’ve met such damn good minds all at one place. But they are. They’ve taught me to always be on top of my work, keep working no matter how tired I am, not care about my looks/accent/clothes because my studies are what matter right now, to set my priorities in life, persevere till the end (or to hang on even when others have given up, in the exact wordings of one of them) and most importantly, to not forget myself in the process, i.e. to live, laugh, love and study as hard as I can. So, a big thanks to all those who have and will teach me, esp. parents and teachers: I am forever indebted to you and love and respect you with all my heart.
I hope you guys found something worthwhile in this post, I’ve just shared what I’ve felt lately.