Is It an Ear of Rice That Bows Its Head As It ripens? A Guide to Self Discovery

“Is It an Ear of Rice That Bows Its Head As It ripens?” It is compared to an ear of rice whose tips droop to the ground due to its own weight as it ripens, and it means that “as one’s knowledge and skills deepen, one becomes more and more humble toward others.” It’s a proverb.

When he was young, both of his parents started working, and they often stopped by his grandparents’ house near their home on the way home from school. These are the words his grandfather told me at such a time.

At that time, I remember thinking, “If you’re great, you act like you’re bossy, and people who aren’t great are supposed to bow their heads flat.” I felt a contradiction in the meaning of the proverb, and I remember thinking that it was strange.

Now that time has passed and I have gained more experience, I would like to write about my understanding of the meaning of this proverb.

Words from a senior who changed me

“I can’t see Oda at all. The resolution of his photos is low.”

Is It an Ear of Rice That Bows Its Head As It ripens? A Guide to Self Discovery

When I was in my late twenties, not long after I became an independent photographer, a senior colleague in the industry I respected said to me at a drinking party. I timidly asked her, “What do you mean?” while trying to hide the turmoil in her heart.

“Oda’s photos are just random. The way the lighting is applied, the way the costumes look, the overall finish, everything is somehow off. It’s not designed at all, and there’s not enough attention to detail in the photos.”

I’m sure myself. If you compare the photos taken by him and those of his seniors whom he respects, there is a huge difference in their work. And I felt ashamed of myself, who had felt a little satisfied with that “somehow” state until it was pointed out.

My senior and I were vastly different in what we saw and what we focused on when we looked at a single photo, in other words, the amount of questions we asked ourselves.

Then, when the senior read my depressed expression, he continued to say the following.

“Of course, I understand that you have various limitations.However, how can you break free from those conditions?Can you take photos that you are satisfied with?You have to change things, including your own environment.However, before you take a photo, “If you can’t see that part, you won’t be able to take good photos,” he advised me.

I feel that thanks to this senior’s words, I have been able to continue as a photographer until now. Well, I guess I have to be able to see it before taking the picture.

Growth is the discovery of new “questions”

There is a saying, “God is in the details.” Generally speaking, it often refers to precise and delicate “skills.” However, I think it’s a little different. In reality, it doesn’t really matter whether it’s precise or delicate. What is important is how many “questions” there are when facing a single subject.

Is It an Ear of Rice That Bows Its Head As It ripens? A Guide to Self Discovery

In reality, you don’t have to make any changes to the details, as long as you pay attention to the details and finish them, including the things you didn’t make.

As I thought about this and met various people, I began to realize that this story was not limited to the world of photography.

This is an old story, but one of my friends got a job at a foreign investment bank. A year after she started working, she looked depressed, perhaps due to lack of sleep or because the job was tough. Well, she thought she’d listen to her complaints once in a while, so they held a drinking party and asked her, “What’s going on lately?” When she turned to him, her friend replied: “No, I stayed up all night at work creating proposal materials, and when I brought them to my boss, he instantly pointed out typos and missing numbers, and he wouldn’t even read them. So I fixed them again and brought them back. , this time , I was told that the height of the text box in the document I had created using PowerPoint was off, and the document was thrown away. “What a terrible story. It’s so terrible it’s almost laughable,” I said with a wry smile as I consoled him, but now I realized that there was a part of me that could understand his boss’s feelings. There is a saying that says, “Everything happens,” but when it comes to materials where careless mistakes occur frequently, even without reading the content, you can tell just how bad it is.

Although he acknowledged that there was a major problem with his boss’s attitude, the number of questions he asked in front of the proposal materials was too different between the boss and the new employee’s friend. The number of questions you have about the work you are facing is undoubtedly one of the essential conditions for being a person who can do the job.

Turning around, what about me now? I’ve grown a little since the time I received advice from a senior photographer, but I may still have a long way to go. Lately, I’ve started to think that maybe I’ll continue to think that way for the rest of my life.

Even if you think you’ve done something, a new question will appear. Growth also means discovering new questions. And the more the number of “questions” increases, the more we become acutely aware of our own inadequacies and inadequacies.

Is It an Ear of Rice That Bows Its Head As It ripens?

As I was thinking about this, my grandfather’s words from the beginning came back to mind.

Is It an Ear of Rice That Bows Its Head As It ripens? A Guide to Self Discovery

I thought that this phrase, “It’s like an ear of rice that bows its head as it ripens” does not mean that we should pretend to be humble.

When you become passionate about something and become absorbed in it, you gradually begin to “see” the world, yourself, and the object. Then, as I come into contact with a world that has become more expansive than before, my smallness, which has grown a little, becomes even more noticeable than before I grew up. This is because the world is expanding much faster than our own growth.

I see, I thought that’s why the more you learn, the more humble you naturally become.

To be honest, sometimes I get tired of finding new “questions” and feeling small. And sometimes I feel depressed. When that happens, I tell myself, “If I want to quit, it’s okay to quit,” and if I don’t end up quitting, then I’ll keep trying. And if you look at it from a different perspective, this tiringly long road can also be seen as an opportunity for personal growth.


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