This post is (as oftentimes my posts are) made of a number of somewhat unrelated thoughts.
Hurrah! I can eat lunch and go in to the office now - I got bitten by Something last night and my left eye swelled shut, and I've been working at home and waiting for the return of binocular vision. Perspective is a nice thing to regain.
This made me smile.
The two things that I like most about the phrase "when the student is ready, the teacher will appear" is that it doesn't imply causality, and that it doesn't immediately whip out the contrapositive. Maybe the teacher appears at times when the student isn't ready. Maybe readiness is, in part, the ability to recognize that you can learn from something or someone.
I think of the world in terms of learning and teaching a lot, and often put myself into the role of student rather than any other, although (in fact, because) my aim in life is that I want to teach.
The things we do gain meaning in part through the things we don't do because we choose to do something else - in other words, opportunity cost gives actions value. To say I came to visit you instead of bumming out and watching TV isn't much. To say I came to visit you - spent half my monthly salary, skipped my midterms - says you are more important to me than those things; I chose you over them. That's why we note in newspapers that rich and famous people spend time with their families oh my gosh.
However, just because you could be doing "something cooler" doesn't mean your reason for doing what you do is any better than someone whose alternative is "not as cool," by whatever metric you chose to measure that. It just means that you give up something different to make the same decision. To make a bad, broken analogy; I could buy a $5 sandwich or a $4 one; you could buy a $5 sandwich or a $2 one. In the end, we both spend $5 on the same sandwich; it doesn't make my $5 sandwich taste better than yours. (But maybe it does make me think about my $5 sandwich in a different way.)