One beautiful, gold morning, I found all four cubs practicing the new skills their mother had been teaching them. Their mother lay nearby, observing them proudly. They were so focused and serious about their practice.
The cubs were trying out over exaggerated stalking poses on each other. And they would be so clumsy, tripping over themselves, crossing the wrong paws which made them stumble.
And of course, as soon as one made a mistake, the other three would quickly take advantage and pounce! All the cubs would squeal and make little sounds of protest, or challenging squeaks of courage.
Streaking through the dew enveloped grass like spotted comets.
They were stumbling and rolling about. Awkwardly throwing themselves at trees and climbing to a point which really gave them no advantage at all. But it gave the idea of power.
The cubs were so interested in practicing, that they did not even notice my presence for a long time. But as soon as they did, they saw an even more exciting opportunity to practice!
They all four ran up to me, and tried to puff themselves up and walk in a “threatening” posture just like their mother showed them.
All the while, their mother lay close by, relaxing in the sun, her eyes narrow slits of pleasure. She knew she had done her job well.
The cubs all came up to me, one even stood on my foot on accident. And they starred up at me with their deep, amber eyes. Their sweet little faces all alight with energy and playfulness. After a time, three of them went back to playing amongst themselves.
But one of them, the same one that always took an interest in me, laid down where he was at my feet.
And began washing himself.
Finally as the morning sun rose higher, and the earth began to heat up, the mother cheetah called her cubs. And they all five disappeared into the cool shadows of a nearby riverbed.
These moments were so special to me, and I also found it inspiring.
Even when cheetah cubs grow up, they never stop learning.
Wildlife cannot foresee the challenges ahead, they learn to read the natural signs of the world around them. They never stop learning.
Most adult cheetahs know their prey, and they know their territory.
But when seasons change, or prey patterns change, the cheetah will watch and learn.
A consistent student to the world.
None of us should ever be an expert. Ever.
You should never stop learning.
Or being a student.
And observing these cubs learning and putting to practice what they had already learned, was a good reminder of what we should all strive to be…students.
There are far to many experts in the world. There are so few teachers. And even fewer students.
Never stop striving to learn. There is NEVER a point in your life that you are not able to learn something new.
And when you do learn something, it is never right to withhold information from others simply so seem “better”.
Don’t hold back others in order to remain an expert.
Any true expert should dedicate their expertise in teaching others.
Knowledge is beautiful. And to be able to give knowledge by teaching is an honor.
Like a mother cheetah, we should feel great pride when those we have taught move forward in success.
And like the cheetah cubs, we should jump on any opportunity we can to learn something new.
I must say, that the greatest experts on the planet that I know, are all wild animals.