Everyone learns. Everyone has to. Necessarily, then, everyone has a teacher. Sometimes that teacher is a life event. Sometimes that teacher is a book with written wisdom. And sometimes that teacher is another human being. Life and our karmas provide us the type of teacher that we’re most likely to respond to, although as humans most of us have the same learning capacities regardless of the teaching method. Recognizing those teachers and those learning opportunities is another ball game, though. And appreciating those same things for what they bring falls in an entirely separate ball park altogether.
Along these lines, most people accept the value of “tough love” in some form or another. And regardless of how that “tough love” is defined, most people recognize that there are a great many people who are thick-skulled enough that tough love, which is often (but not always) synonymous with “the hard way,” is about the only way to get the lesson through. Basically, if you’re not good enough or responsible enough or otherwise smart enough to do what you ought to do, then you become a slave of sorts – to life’s current, your karmas, etc… The more “right” effort one exerts in his / her life, the more control he / she gains over the ability to transcend this current of life and his / her karmas. It’s a balancing act that is immensely tough for most in the beginning, but (only) with continued effort becomes progressively easier. Many times, too, people begin this journey actively but seem to run out of gas and end up with an “Ah, fuck it” kind of moment, after which they temporarily slack off. Whether they like it or not, this slacking can only ever be temporary before the natural way of things will force them to eventually face the music, so to speak.
A very challenging student (nearly hopeless?), in my opinion, is one who not only insists on learning the hard way or through tough love in its myriad manifestations, but then also refuses to value that approach when his / her karmas facilitate that. It’s literally like asking for a value meal by number and then throwing a tantrum when the packaged meal arrives – despite the fact that it’s exactly what was requested.
For many this hopeless approach is the default until a light goes off in their heart-of-hearts, however a truly wretched person indeed is one who continually attempts this and instead of eventually tackling the karmas they’ve done their damnedest to put off till later, still insists on not owning up. A particularly thankless variety of this kind of student will even go so far as to reach out to others to gain (faux) sympathy and to attempt to guilt whatever teaching medium was provided to them by life / their karmas. Surely, only the most ignorant and underdeveloped bites the hand that feeds it.
A silver lining here is that these kind of so-called students (I say “so-called” because the label of student implies actual or attempted learning.) provide human teachers the chance to test their own patience, ego, and teaching proficiency. All things being equal, though, surely the journey for such a soul, while not being any longer in distance than any other soul, will be unquestionably more painful, challenging, and miserable.
To all my teachers I extend my deepest gratitude and apologies for any struggle on my part. To any students being taught by Life through my own words or deeds, all the grace that is mine to give I gladly forward to you.
Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha