It happens in all aspects of life, where a young student aspires to achieve the level of greatness that their master has reached. Whether it be with the culinary arts or music or martial arts, there will always be a master who will teach and nurture a student. Sometimes the student recognizes the power of the master, other times it is the master who sees the potential in a young ward. But no matter how the relationship is formed, the master undoubtedly passes on their knowledge and skill to the student. As this line of master-student relationships goes along, eventually the student shall be seen as a master by another and the process will continue.
While some lineages may be lost in time, the foundation of the relationship and its long journey continue to grow and build upon itself. “We stand upon the shoulders of giants”, a metaphor that I feel insinuates that as life goes on, we have a advantage of being able to peer across the horizon atop the shoulders of others. Our teachers, our mentors, our masters, give us this subtle yet empowering boost to reach the greatness we all see just over the hill. “The student becomes the master”, this phrase is more of a fact as no matter how wise or skillful the master, the student will always be drinking from a larger fountain of knowledge than their predecessors.
With that being said, we must all remember that no matter how much we learn or how skillful we become, we are forever students. It is an infinite process of learning and forming and molding the knowledge fountain that we once believed to be at its peak just for us. A constant creation and adaptation of techniques and styles that no one person can keep up with. As the student looks to their master for answers, it is the master who entrusts the student with finding it.
We must also realize that everything we do will call for another to guide us through it. From the teachers of primary school to a leader in a career field to the very caretakers that brought us up. In the end, while we have evolved to surpass our masters, we cannot forget to look back and insure that those very people also learn what we have learned. Not only to give our predecessors the advantages or to keep expanding our collective knowledge but also, and more importantly, as a form of both gratitude and reflection. Gratitude in that we must give our masters a constant and consistent flow of techniques to be taught that keep up with the times. Reflection in that we must see how far we have come and in which direction we have walked from our starting point. Sometimes a master or their new student(s) may give a new insight that we hadn’t thought of that could change our view of the new information.
It is all an endless flow of life that we as humans must continue to walk with the humble eyes and aspiring hearts of a student and the wise soul and knowledgeable mind of a master. From the moment we can form a memorable thought to the minute we see the light at the end of the tunnel, this fountain of knowledge will grow and evolve and improve with each and every one of our little bricks.