A Story of Pride
There was once a young man who had difficulty in school, and particularly in the subject of math. Each day he struggled to learn the basic essentials of arithmetic. In frustration, he sought out the most brilliant young man in his class who soon became his friend and tutor. As the tutor taught, the young man began to gain greater understanding. Soon, he loved to learn and enjoyed his time spent on mathematics.
Yet the tutor, in his heart, mocked his student and friend, pitying him. "What a fool he is," he thought to himself, "to get so much satisfaction in doing such simple problems."
In class, the tutor was honored and praised by his teacher and peers. His student friend also praised and honored him. Accepting these praises and honors, the tutor gave himself glory and looked over the heads of his peers. Meanwhile, the student humbled himself and continued to study and work to learn just a little more each day.
Years went by and the two youths found themselves once again in the same class. The new class was called algebra and was considered much more difficult than the simple arithmetic that they had before taken. The tutor was surprised to see his student friend with such limited mathematical abilities entering this class, so he took it upon himself to counsel and advise.
"Friend," said he, to his past student, "this class is much advanced, and I fear that it may be too difficult for you to understand. I suggest that you change courses now and take something more at your level."
The young man listened, but nevertheless, remained in the class.
So then, as the class progressed and the teacher taught, the young student, knowing that the course would be difficult, took the time and effort necessary each day to make sure he understood the principles and formulas taught to him.
The tutor, however, took the course with an attitude of ease, quickly accomplishing each assignment without much thought.
As the subject became increasingly difficult, the tutored student was prepared and continued to gain additional knowledge. Algebra became an interesting challenge to him. He was soon able to see how beneficial the course could be. But also as the class progressed, the tutor found algebra increasingly difficult to learn. He did not truly understand many vitally important concepts. He had been lazy because he had assumed that this class would be as easy as previous classes had been. He had wasted much of the time that he should have spent learning, but, unwilling to humble himself and ask for help, he simply decided that algebra was not useful in his life. He could see no application or reason for it. His progression soon declined and he dropped out of the class.
The once tutored student soon rose to the top of the class. Classmates praised him for his abilities. He began to tutor other friends who did not understand as he did. Soon he began to glorify himself as his own tutor had. "It is all so simple," he thought to himself. "Why is it so hard for them to see and understand?"
Forgetting the experience of his own tutor, the next year he enrolled in a calculus class. To his surprise, he noticed several friends that he had tutored in algebra. "Fools," he thought. "They'll never make it through this difficult class."
A Story of Pride is a short story excerpt from Wisdom's Way: Tales, Treasures, Truths
Copyright 2010 Steven A. Barben
Steven A. Barben shares stories from his book - Wisdom's Way: Tales, Treasures, Truths in "Wisdom in Story;" provides stone information and tales that typify emotions, moods, and personality or character symbols of various stones in "Wonder in Stone;" and clears confusion, raises awareness, and opens stone, gem and jewelry understanding in "Stone Truth."
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