I came across a quote today: “Better than a thousand days of diligent study is one day with a great teacher.” A Tweep (@UXHow) said this is a Japanese proverb and I’ll take his word for it.
I like it. As I contemplated, I was reminded of a chance meeting some time ago. She didn’t hold herself out to be a great teacher; she was at a coffee shop enjoying chocolate cheesecake, valium and espresso. She was somewhere in her 80s.
We got to talking, as strangers do, and she shared with me her most significant life lesson: to love. That’s it. Was love the most important thing in life? Yes. To the exclusion of all else? Yes. If we’re wise we’ll recognize and cherish it.
This didn’t, however, mean unfailingly relinquishing other important things at the altar of love. Sometimes we are not meant to hold love closely, or hold it for long; instead, we are meant to appreciate it for what it is and release it. Despite how it may sometimes appear, the love stays with us.
If I studied the topic diligently for a thousand days would I come to this lesson? Probably. But it wouldn’t be the delight that is my memory of this colorful woman. I was also spared the toll of a thousand days. The Japanese were right, this great teacher was better.