Friday, May 8, 2015

When The Pupil is Ready...the Master Appears...Was Buddha Misquoted?

One of the great joys of being a parent of adult children are those occasions when you’re able to have adult discussions with them about life, values, and beliefs. I had such an occasion recently with my son as we sat at a local restaurant debriefing over an interview he had earlier in the day.

Somehow the discussion evolved into the importance of leadership in an organization. I was on my soapbox, pontificating rather eloquently, spouting my beliefs that the talents of an organization are based on what the leader can extract from them.

Rather than sitting there and nodding, as he had done in years past, my son told me in no uncertain terms that he disagreed! And then taking a play from my playbook, he looked me in the eye and quoted Buddha, “When the PUPIL is ready…the Master appears!”

I have to admit…he stopped me dead in my tracks. I had to rethink, regroup, and regain my train of thought. Was he right? Can an organization only move forward when they are ready to do so? Isn't it the job of the leader to communicate the vision and prepare the organization to produce beyond their perceived capabilities? What about that organization that is ready to move but simply lacks the leadership to do so?

Perhaps when it’s all said and done Buddha was misquoted. Perhaps what was said has been diluted over the centuries. Perhaps something got confused in the translation. Perhaps what was said was really, “It is the Master who inspires the readiness of the Pupil.” Yeah…that’s the ticket!

Be good to yourself…

1 comment:

  1. hmmm... could be but I see a relevance to the quote - when the pupil is ready to see the relevance of the lesson, the teacher appears quite useful then. Yes, of course, you are right too - and Buddhist teachers certainly do things to help their pupils become ready - as should we all. we should consider also the problem illuminated in this: you can drag a horse to water, but you can't force it to drink. :)