Nikhil had just graduated from a reputed business school. His father was a wealthy man owning a flourishing export business. Nikhil joined his father with high hopes of multiplying the volume of business manifold. But father insisted that he work at the grass roots and understand the practical aspects of work before mooting any big changes. The more he tried to work as per father’s instructions, the more frustrated he felt.
One day he was feeling very disillusioned. He went and sat in the garden. An earthenware pot that was used everyday by the gardener, to water the plants lay beside him. All of a sudden, the pot began to talk to Nikhil. It said, “Dear one, why are you so sad?” Nikhil replied, “I am sick of working so hard as per my dad’s instructions, he doesn’t let me control the business.”
“Listen to my story. At the beginning of my journey, I was just a heap of mud. A potter put water into me and kneaded me again and again till I became smooth and shiny. Then he put me on his potter’s wheel and spun me around till my head went dizzy. He kept on engraving lines on my skin to make a pattern. It was so, so painful.” The pot continued as the boy listened intently. “That’s not all. Then I was put into a very, very hot oven and baked till my skin got all burnt. I could barely breathe. When I was fully baked, they set me out in the cold winter night to cool down. Lastly, a painter came and added a coat of red paint to my burnt exterior. But after all that, my value has increased manifold. I am a pot that is of use to your gardener every day. All these plants and the flowers they bear are my friends. Each time the gardener takes me close to them, they blow kisses to me. They love me dearly. Had I not gone through so many hardships, would I be what I am today? Everyone has to undergo hardships to become something of value!”
The boy stroked the pot lovingly and said, “You’re a great friend. I think I have many things to do; I’d better get going. But I’ll never forget what you told me. Thank you for each word that you spoke to inspire me.”
Gold shines only after it is heated to a very high temperature. To climb a steep mountain you have to bend yourself forward; if you continue to hold your head upwards, the climb uphill shall become difficult and tiring.