On May 8th 2009 a family came to visit President Obama. There was a 5-year-old boy also among them. When the President walked towards them to receive them, this little boy asked the President if his hair was different from the boy’s. Obama told the boy to confirm it for himself. And this boy, Jacob Philadelphia, virtually touched the head of President Obama who bent a little. It was this picture that decorated the white house walls for a while. It actually showed the difference 150 years could make in the USA.
Many times, we look at great people, with an assumption that they have special aptitudes embedded in them, and as if God had been a little partial there. The idea that aptitudes are there in everybody and growing it is individual duty doesn’t go in. According to the Bible, it is the one who multiplies the given talents that is appreciated in the heavens. Psychologists are one in confirming that everybody born here is gifted with some sorts of talents, strong enough to make them geniuses. They advise that they are to be developed to the status we dream. The more it is ground and polished the more it becomes precious. The message that still keeps glittering within is that all successful persons have invariably done this.
There is the story of a Field Marshal who came to visit Emperor Napoleon. He narrated all the heroic deeds he did. Assuming that the emperor was pleased, he slipped into the details of those stories one by one. Still, Napoleon didn’t say anything. At last, the Marshal stopped talking. Here, the emperor asked him, “What did you do the next day?” Many of us are like this Field Marshal living in the ecstasy of forgotten stories. What we do next is what decides what is going to befall upon.
Remember the much-spoken Jordan river. It begins from Hermon valleys and passes through the sea of Galilee and ends up in the dead sea. Jordan nourishes both the seas but one of them is called the Dead Sea. The only difference, if there is any, is that the sea of Galilee has a way in and a way out, while the Dead Sea is a closed pool. Galilee represents life and the Dead Sea, death. The same river has the same nature but the effect it creates differs heavily. The difference movement brings in is so crucial!
There was a college student who was simultaneously working in the college dining hall also. Early morning, he had to go there and late in the evening also he had to work there. From the hostel, this student regularly used a shortcut through the teachers’ quarters. He walked past the quarters of his professor and every time he could see through the window that the professor is at his table. It seemed that the professor was never sleeping at all.
One day, the student had to approach his professor to get some points clarified. After all discussions, the student asked him.
“Would you mind if I asked you a personal question?” “Come on,” replied the professor. The student asked, “Well, every day while I pass by your quarters, morning and evening, I see light in your room. What keeps you studying?” The professor answered, “Well, dear boy, I would rather like to see my students drink from a running stream than a stagnant pool.” By its very nature, knowledge needs to be continually updated or it degenerates into ignorance.