Matajuro and the Art of the Sword
Matajuro Yagyu, son of a renowned master of the sword, was relegated by his father, who believed his efforts were not sufficient to become a true master. Matajuro, who had decided, despite everything, to conquer that objective, traveled to mount Futara with the intent of finding the famous master Banzo, but this master only confirmed his father's judgement:
"You do not fill the requirements."
"But, if I work hard, how many years does it take for me to become a master?" Insisted the young man.
"The rest of your life." answered Banzo matter-of-factly.
"I cannot wait that long. I am willing to endure whatever it takes to learn with you. If I become your devoted servant, how long will it take?"
"Oh, perhaps some ten years." Banzo replied.
"Well, my father grows ill and, before long I will have to take care of him. If I work even harder, how long will it take?" he implored.
"Oh, then perhaps some thirty years."
"I do not understand. First it was ten years, now it's thirty. Believe me, I am willing to endure anything to master this art as soon as possible." he pleaded.
"Well, in that case, you will have to spend seventy years with me. A man that anxious for results cannot learn fast enough." explained Banzo.
"Very well," declared Matajuro, "I finally understand that it's a matter of patience, I accept to become your servant."
It was then demanded of Matajuro that he would not speak of the art of the sword or touch a sword again. He served the master, preparing his meals, cleaning his rooms and tending to his garden, always without uttering a single word about the art of the sword. He was even forbidden to watch the training of the other students.
Three years passed and Matajuro, always working, thinking often of his misfortune, since he could still not devote his life to the study of the art he had chosen. One day, while he was tending his chores, lost in his sad thoughts, Banzo crept close to him, and struck him hard on his back with the Bokken (wooden sword). On the next day, Matajuro was preparing the rice and the master attacked him again, when he least expected.
From that day forward, Matajuro was forced to defend himself day and night from the sudden attacks of Banzo, always alert to avoid the sword of the master. He learned so quickly that his concentration, his speed and a sort of sixth sense enabled him to avoid Banzo's attacks.
Then one day, before completing ten years after his arrival, the master told him he had nothing more to teach him.
The Moral of the Story
When one is looking up at the goal, they will tend to trip on the path. Sometimes haste and impatience will only delay the process, because in the end it's not the goal of mastery, but the experience of attaining it that counts.