A young man presented himself to the local expert on gems and said he wanted to become a gemologist. The expert brushed him off because he feared that the youth would not have the patience to learn. The young man pleaded for a chance. Finally the expert consented and told the youth, “Be here tomorrow.”
The next morning the expert put a jade stone in the boy’s hand and told him to hold it. The expert then went about his work, cutting, weighing, and setting gems. The boy sat quietly and waited.
The following moring the expert again placed the jade stone in the youth’s hand and told him to hold it. On the third, fourth, and fifth day the expert repeated the exercise and the instructions.
On the sixth day the youth held the jade stone, but could no longer stand the silence. “Master,” he asked, “when am I going to learn something?”
“You’ll learn,” the expert replied and went about his bussiness.
Several more days went by and the youth’s frustation mounted. One morning as the expert approached and beckoned for him to hold out his hand, he was about to blurt out that he could go on no longer. But as the master placed the stone in the youth’s hand, the young man exclaimed with-out looking at his hand, “This is not the same jade stone!”
“You have begun to learn,” said the master.