– Robin Sharma –
One lesson which I had learnt many years ago from a business leader, was to be humble like the bamboo; the higher it goes, the lower it ‘bows.’ Bamboo, which is commonly known in the Chinese culture as one of the four gentlemen, namely the orchid, the bamboo, the chrysanthemum and the plum blossom, and also as three friends of winter, namely the pine, the bamboo and the plum. According to China Daily, “… bamboo is a symbol of virtue. It reflects people’s souls and emotions.”
The following are four lessons, which we can learn from Bamboo:
1. Be strong likes the bamboo. Quoting Garr Reynolds from his talk, “Remember what looks weak is actually strong: Bamboo is incredibly strong.” In fact, according to an article, ‘The Bamboo Solution’ in Discover, bamboo is deemed ‘Tough as steel, sturdier than concrete …‘ In the same article, “Ounce for ounce, bamboo is stronger than wood, brick, and concrete. Consider the aforementioned compression test. What that figure means is that, compared with, say, concrete, bamboo can withstand twice as much force bearing down on it.”
2. Flexibility and adaptability. Bamboo bends with the wind but do not break. Metaphorically, when we are coping with adversity in life, we must be able to go with the natural flow, be flexible, adapt to the surroundings and yet to be firmly rooted.
3. Humility. The Bamboo hollowness reminds us to empty our minds, to learn, to unlearn and to relearn. When we are able to empty ourselves with the preconceived perceptions in life and be open, we can fill ourselves with new possibilities and new wisdom.
4. Resilience. Bamboo has incredible ability to spring and bounce back. As the Japanese proverb aptly puts it, “Fall seven times and stand up eight. No matter how many times we get knocked down, we get up again; we just keep getting up and trying again and never never give up.
The next time when you see bamboo, hopefully you will remember these four lessons which bamboo has taught me and you may not look at it the same way again … I know I would not. Last but not least, quoting Garr Reynolds from his talk again, “Be like the bamboo my friend.” Here is the talk by Garr Reynolds.