As a youth George Bernard Shaw was fond of dancing and merry-making in the company of his friends. His father wanted to advise him and said: “I do not feel bad about spending your time with friends. But also make some new friends, who may be your life-long companions and guides. On the basis of my experience, I can tell you that you cannot find better friends than good books.” Shaw followed the advice and rose to become a great writer.
A newly arrived enquirer asked Sufi Jalaluddin Rumi: “Master, are you ready to teach me?” To which the master, looking steadily into his eyes, answered searchingly: “Are you ready to learn?”
Rabindranath Tagore has a beautiful piece about a man with a torch making his way to a festival of lights. As he proceeds, he passes by a cluster of huts shrouded in darkness. The man does not pay heed to the pleas of the people who lived in darkness to share his light with them. He continues his journey to the grand festival. And the poet moans: “His light, one among many, was lost in the great festival of lights.”