Thousand-Miles Horse

My major at school was not Buddhism . It was English literature. But my most favorite literature in the world, is Chinese one. I used to like memorizing poems of various Chinese poets. It's sad now I have forgotten many poems, but one of the favorite writings I still remember is the essay, so-called "Thousand-Miles Horse" by Han Yu (768-824).


A thousand-miles horse, called "Senri no Uma" in Japanese, is a legendary strong horse that could run thousand li-distance(*about 300 miles) a day.   Han Yu wrote at the very beginning, " Only when there is an excellent trainer like Hakuraku* can there be a thousand-miles horse."  


According to the common sense, we tend to think that kind of a excellent horse is very rare, but Han Yu continued, "Excellent horses are not uncommon (There are lots of potential excellent horses in the world.) What is rare is an excellent horse trainer."


Han Yu saw this situation very sad . Because the common trainers don't know how to feed and train the excellent horses, they scold and say to the horses, "What a useless! There is no thousand-miles horse!" in front of the potential excellent horses.


What Han Yu wanted to say, was actually not for the horse, but for the human being. He also indicated that he was not rightly recognized and he wanted to say, there should be many talented persons in the world, but they cannot be always recognized because the teachers cannot see/find their talents.


I don't want to say whether this is true or not. But at least what I can say, is a teacher's role is very important, especially for the children.   And so is the parent, too.


Last November, I met an amazing teacher, Uncle Billy of Koke'e Discovery Center during the Koke'e camping. He was an interesting, funny and intelligent teacher.   He was very mindful to watch children individually. And he encouraged each child in different ways. It was just as if he saw children's talents.  


One of the impressive words by Uncle Billy was, "Not everyone needs to be good at studying. Our society needs various talents.   Not everyone should not be politician or doctor or teacher. We need a plumber, electrician, chef, janitor, minister...Everyone is so important."  


By the time to say goodbye to Uncle Billy, all the children became so touched and emotional because they came to love him. Not only children, I was also moved by his words.


Once again, nobody is useless, just like I mentioned nothing is useless the other day. As I happened to find a tiny screw was so important for eyeglasses, I hope I can find each person's important role.  I also hope I can be a good teacher and a good parent who can recognize the person in the right way and in the right manner.


By the way, Han Yu was known as a advocate the expulsion of Buddhism from China.  It was interesting to know "Thousand-Miles Horse" was written after he was exiled because he tried to abolish the Buddhism...


If he were a Buddhist, then he would write "Everyone is supposed to be talented and everyone could be a thousand-miles horse, whereas he said, "many could be a thousand-miles horse."  



*Hakuraku=Po-lo, the legendary connoisseur of horse in ancient times.


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