So many teachers in this world
Confucius said, “In a group of three people, there is always something I can learn.” We find masters and teachers everywhere.
I was pleasantly shocked when I read an article about the master bakers of France and Japan in the Hankyoreh. Japan’s top baker Shigekatsu Kimura said, “Anyone who wants to become a baker should try to become only ‘one’ instead of ‘number one.’?” It was the advice of a master.
The local bakeries are struggling as franchise bakeries operated by large conglomerates expand aggressively, and they should try to become unique instead of being the best. The times have changed from the days when you had to bake the tastiest treats to become successful. The bakeries now have to compete with unique delicacies that cannot be imitated. That way, mom- and-pop shops can survive the fierce competition.
It is very simple. Instead of trying to be the best in the intense competition of the red ocean, you should try to open up a unique blue ocean and monopolize.
Not so long ago, the JoongAng Ilbo’s Saturday edition featured an interview with Nobuyuki Matsuhisa.
By adding a unique style on sushi, he became the most famous Japanese chef in the world. He operates his namesake restaurants in 25 countries. He emphasizes the heart and passion of the chef delivered to the guests. If the spirit is not delivered to the guest through the fingertips, the dish is a failure.
“Every dish has its best moment, and sushi has its best moment. It is when the chef shapes a portion of rice, puts a slice of raw fish and offers it to the guest.
“A second or two after the piece of sushi is laid on the dish, it collapses slightly, by one or two millimeters [0.04-0.08 inches]. That’s the best moment to enjoy sushi, the moment the heart of the chef is delivered to the guest. When the chef makes the food with the left hand and offers it to the guest with the right hand, the energy of the chef is presented together.”
The baking master and sushi king could reach the “only one” status as they had gone through the long and painful course of becoming the “best.” That irreplaceable status does not come overnight and is unattainable without your own philosophy.
Matsuhisa said, “I am not the best. The moment you think you are the best, there will be no further progress. Because I don’t consider myself to be the best, I can move forward and evolve constantly.”
There are so many teachers in this world.
*The author is an editorial writer of the JoongAng Ilbo.
By Bae Myung-bok