Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Master Apprentice

When we see someone who has Strength--a skill, a relationship, or something else of value that we would like to have, we can choose to Envy them or to Admire and Learn from them.

What makes this hard is if the person who has this Strength doesn’t know how to train us or teach us how to obtain it.  S/he was just born with it.

The Clockmaker's Apprentice
I heard this story about 10 years ago but I can’t find it anywhere so I will retell it in my own words.   

A master clockmaker was training a group of apprentices.  One day they came upon a very difficult skill to learn that the master could not explain.  All he knew was that he just did it.  He didn’t know how to teach it.  He said, "Just do it."  All day long the apprentices tried to "just do it" but none of them could.  

 So there was a problem:  How were the apprentices ever going to become master clockmakers if the master could not teach this crucial skill?   

That night one of the apprentices stayed late to continue trying to figure it out. He tried all different ways, working long into the night.  Finally he got it!  He figured out what they were all doing wrong and the specific thing they needed to change to get it right.
The next day he came into the shop and was able to teach all the other apprentices what the master clockmaker was not able to.  All of them got it.

So sometimes we see someone with a Strength and they may not know how to teach it to us because it is an inherent Strength—one they just have.  They can use it to provide clocks for other people to use but they can’t train others in the skill. 

Listen:  "He Walked a Mile in my Shoes" by Dan Truman and David Osmond
When we Admire a Strength in someone and want to learn how to obtain it for ourselves the person we need to find is the Master Apprentice--the one who did not have the Strength initially and had to learn it his/herself.  That person not only has the Strength but also the Strength to teach it to us. 

We need Master Clockmakers.  They are Exemplars.  And sometimes we only need to purchase a clock from him.  We don't have a Desire to learn how to build one.  But for whatever Specific Strength we desire to acquire, we need the Master Apprentice.  
Listen:  "I am the Light" by Maxine Soakai (Feat. David Osmond)