Saturday, November 17, 2007

Everyone Is Our Teacher

There is a saying that to be successful, we have to be with successful people. We will learn from them through the close interaction and through observation. Over time, we will be like them having emulated them and maybe mentored by them. This is not wrong and is a proven way to move ahead fast.

However, in my opinion, we may be confining our outlook to a specific area and may overlook other aspect of life. For example, being rich, we may not have real-hand feeling for the poor. We may be aware of their situation but may not have the sensitivity to talk in their language. We may miss some life issue that we have taken for granted that may not be present in that of the poor. People changes with time and with things that they continuously do. An engineering manager may not understand the problem of a junior engineer even when they have been one themself. Situation changes with time and what is experience in the past may not hold for the present. How then should we build upon ourself to know the condition or have the sensitivity to engage anyone?

It lies in our mixture of friends or people around us. Keep an open mind to absorb the style of these people and try to understand the "why" of their behaviour. Everyone is then our teacher. We count upon them to expand our knowledge of people's behaviour and thinking. If possible do not limit ourself to a targetted group. We may argue that we are limited in time to cover such a wide range of human thinking. But how else can we really understand others when we stay away from them? It is impossible. Our brain will sooner or later eliminate these other groups and lose the knowledge.

Therefore to have a good coverage of life in society, mix or network widely and treat everyone as your teacher. Each one of us is a teacher to everyone as we possess some lessons in life that others may not have gone through.

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