As parents and teachers, we know that the next generation must be prepared to do more, go further and attain more than we have. This compulsion to improve is not driven by greed, but rather reflects the realizations that come with age. That is, as you get older and experience more, you discover some of fhe hidden pathways to success - as well as failure - and you want the next generation to protect the family's interests the best way possible. In the Holy Odu OwonrinOsa, Orunmila predicts the arrival of students who will definitely surpass the teacher in due time:
Cast divination for Orunmila
On the day he will initiate a child
Who will become cleverer than him
Akoda, Aseda, and Araba
Are second in rank to Babalawo
The crown upon the head shall come from a brass bell
The beads upon the neck shall come from a brass bell
The brilliant color purple upon the shoulder originates in a cluster of banana trees
- Holy Odu OwonrinOsa
Now, it is very important to give consideration to some of the things that happen when the adult meets the student or child who will outshine him someday. While the average student struggles to focus and keep up with the lessons, the brilliant student absorbs knowledge quickly and even fires off penetrating questions. The result is often disruptive because it deviates from the planned lesson or course of action. Consequently, you are forced to adjust somehow. You might feel frustrated. You might feel embarrassed. You might feel disrespected. But whatever range of emotions you experience when teaching the exceptional person of any age, the challenge is to address her needs without promoting arrogance or entitlement. As simple as this statement is, it reflects a delicate balancing act. On one hand, the teacher cannot block the student's light. On the other hand, the teacher cannot allow the student to over estimate the significance of her talents. Both extremes are pitfalls that will prevent continuous improvement. In the long run, the teacher - and the parent, for that matter - have to prepare differently.
This is one aspect wherein Ifa divination becomes very helpful. Ifa divination helps you to anticipate upcoming needs and tailor your approach to match the conditions you will soon encounter. In verses like OwonrinOsa cited above, Ifa offers advice, sacrifices, medicines and taboos to observe in order to optimize the talents of your students, direct reports or children. What is important here is the fact that power dynamics must be managed effectively in order to honor the spirit of continuous improvement. The brilliant student must be redirected appropriately do that her abilities complement her destiny and support collective development, too.
The OLA16 platform offers a variety of learning opportunities designed to help you optimize your natural gifts and talents and inspire others to do the same. The member site, fundamentals courses, annual retreat, weekly worship and community ceremonies all work together to help you live the medicine at home, in the shrine and in the greater community as well.
Live the Medicine
Obafemi Origunwa, MA
Thought leader, Ifa priest and author of four definitive books, Obafemi Origunwa inspires metamorphosis through living the medicine that will heal your life and heal the lives of the people you're destined to serve.