Don Tomei - Three Teachers
We all have three teachers.
1 – Our masters
Our masters are the ones who come before us, or who are inherently superior to us in some way. They see clearly in our dark corners. They easily fathom what confounds us. Of all the lessons we learn from our masters, the most profound is that there is a path to follow that can take us from where we are to where we want to be. From our masters we gain wisdom, certainty, direction, assurance and encouragement.
2 – Ourselves
The self lives in the only room we can never leave. It’s the perspective we can never change, the critic we can never please. But it’s also the only room we can decorate any way we like. From ourselves we learn discipline, accountability, pride and arrogance, but also shame, disappointment, confusion and regret. No teacher is closer to our inner thoughts than the self, yet none is more difficult to comprehend.
3 – Our students
Our students are the most demanding teachers of all. They judge us not with their opinions, but with their lives. Their trust is our ultimate master. We may claim some part of their success, but their failure is indelibly ours without question. From our students we learn humility, patience, courage, nurturing and selflessness.
All three of these teachers give us a priceless gift.
Separately they allow us to explore a deep and profound art. Together they enable us to achieve mastery of our art and ourselves.