I have been dormant for quite a while but I think there is nothing wrong about it. I am not writing to get more followers (though I reached a hundred a few days back. Yay!) I write because I like to and because it’s my most cherished hobby. I can get back to it whenever I feel like and shouldn’t make it a point to write everyday as I had planned on doing initially because making it a compulsion will only make me less inclined write. I had nothing to write about the past few days. I didn’t grab in the air in search of a topic since all my writing is based on impulses and pre planned ideas don’t work for me. It was when I was feeling miserable about not writing that I stumbled upon a thought of mine. I had been thinking a lot about a story I had read in the past, and although it carried a lot of wisdom, I considered it to be of no particular use to me.
And I will tell you why.
The story was about a sculptor, and his apprentice who had been learning from the sculptor since ages and had proved to be as skilled as his master if not better. Every day, the master would instruct him to fashion a statuette from a rock, and though it’s intricacies were noted with interest by anyone who looked at it, the master would find a faults in it and would ask the student to do away with it. The apprentice toiled on for days but finally in exasperation he asked leave of his master to discontinue the course, for, he had been pushed to the very limits and could bear it no more. The master replied that his only reason for never praising him was to watch him improve in the hopes that one day, he will be recognised.
Fused as it is with words of wisdom, I implore any teacher reading this to not recourse to such measures. For me, appreciation, and not the hope of gaining it one day, is an incentive to improve. I am still child in that way. Teachers in school have stopped marking our notebooks and answer sheets with stars and smiling faces they were so generous with in the past. It makes me dejected to know that they are taking it for granted that I will be satisfied with my marks even if there is not appreciative remark accompanying it.
Appreciation is embarrassing at the moment of reception but it’s absence makes one fall into a void of despair, of worthlessness and poor self-esteem. It might look too far fetched but it’s true. Appreciation makes me want to improve because I am greedy for more. The point at which I am appreciated for the first time becomes the standard for all the next tasks I undertake. I have to build upon it if people are to recognise me and that won’t happen if I don’t set a higher standard each time. That’s not to say that criticism should be eliminated. I appreciate its value as much as I value appreciation. I won’t know how to improve if I am not aware of my flaws in the first place. However, it shouldn’t be in excess. It shouldn’t snatch away from me my sense of achievement when I accomplish a task.
After all, if I don’t take pride in my task, who else will?