My tuition teacher

When I was in Class 11, I went to a tuition teacher to learn arithmetic, algebra and geometry. At the end of each session, my teacher would give me homework to be completed and brought to the next class. Some of the problems he gave were difficult to solve, while some were fairly easy.

Invariably, I was unable to solve the tough problems, and when I submitted my answers for his scrutiny the next day, I often noticed he would remove his spectacles from his face when he was correcting a tough problem, yet, he re-wore the spectacles when he was scrutinising the easier ones.

I once asked him why he was doing so, and what he told me then is today virtually a self-imposed diktat that I follow with sincerity.

He said, and I paraphrase: ‘I am myopic so I need spectacles to read. When I examine the tough problems you have tried to solve, I know you may not have done so. I do not therefore want to see the mistakes you have committed, so I take off my spectacles. But when I see the easier problems, I know you would have solved them, and I only want to see what you have done correctly. For the easier problems, I keep my spectacles on, for I want to see what you have done well. The tough problems are for you to practice, the easier ones are for you to feel triumph.’

Nowadays, whenever I work with people, I look for what they are doing well and not for what they are failing in.

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