Why did you bring the pot?April 17th, 2012
Dearest Darling Readers,
I want to share these paragraphs credited to Mark Gibson, sent to me by my student Sameer.
“Mark Gibson, a former gymnastics coach who worked with many elite athletes, tells a wonderful story about a 15-year-old girl whose work ethic and attitude brought out the best in everyone.
Cindy wasn’t a great gymnast, but when she was in the gym everyone complained less, worked harder, and, not surprisingly, achieved more.
Cindy’s work was such a powerful motivator for many because she was blind. When it was her turn to do the vault, her mom would run along side her telling her how close she was to the vault. When her mom said, “Vault!” Cindy would reach out and jump – trusting her mother and herself.
Cindy loved the sport and kept improving because she and her mom refused to be defeated by her disability.
Mark called her the most important member of the team, not because of her athletic ability, but because of her heart and because she demonstrated a standard of fortitude and courage that inspired others to get more out of themselves. Everyone who watched her strive to be the best she could be, realized how much more they could be.
Consider yourself blessed if you have experienced this kind of a person in your life. Maybe, YOU are this kind of a person in someone’s life !!!
This is leadership – leadership by example. We see this sort of leadership not only in sports but in families and in the workplace. Often the most important members of the team are not the smartest, most skilled, or the most liked. Their impact is because of their attitude and their ability to energize and encourage others with their optimism, enthusiasm, and determination.
They seem to be ready to devote 25 hours daily, 8 days a week to the task at hand. They seem to be ready to tell their friends – “Lose my phone number! Do not call me as I will not be picking up phones. I have a TASK at hand.”
They seem to have a reverence for hard work, willingness to sacrifice the little things of life, and an uncompromising attitude towards commitment.
As I read about Cindy, my spine straightened, and my head slightly nodded in agreement, endorsing her attitudes. I felt thrilled, inspired and motivated to the core ! These stories are my anchors as well as my engines.
Why do stories have this effect on me, I asked myself. Will the message not suffice? Do I need ‘the’ story?
Then I remembered the words of a Zen master to his disciple who had similarly asked him why the master shared so many stories. The Zen master said his throat was dry. Would the disciple be kind enough to bring him some water to drink? When the disciple returned with water, the Zen master’s words to his disciple was, “I asked for water. Why did you bring me the pot?”
I realised, while I need the water (the message), the pot (the stories) carries it for me. These Life School Messages (LSMs) too are like the pot. There must be some thirsty person out there who is waiting for you to take THIS pot to him.
Do spread and share THIS pot with as many thirsty people as possible. In writing this LSM, I have done exactly that ! Now, I am depending on you to play your part.
With loads of love, prayers and best wishes,
As I Live…I Learn