Learning versus Freeing Butterflies
One spring a young boy approached his father with something he had found; it was chrysalis. The father told the boy that this was a great find; that if he cared for the chrysalis and gave it time, a beautiful butterfly would emerge.
The boy cared for the chrysalis but then one day, through the walls of the chrysalis, the boy saw that the butterfly was beating its wings against the walls of the chrysalis, trying to escape. Fearing the butterfly could not escape, the boy opened the chrysalis to free the butterfly. Instead of a butterfly, out came a wet, ugly thing that quickly died.
The boy ran to his father crying. The father told the boy that he should have let the butterfly struggle to escape on its own. The butterfly's beating of its wings against the wall of the chrysalis may have appeared fruitless, but it made the butterfly's wings stronger and stronger until they were strong enough for the butterfly to break out of the chrysalis. At that point, the wings would have been strong enough for the butterfly to fly, and the struggle would have given the butterfly the strength and confidence it needed to survive as a butterfly.
When you see a student struggling to achieve rank, if you feel sorry for the student and make it easier for the student to achieve the rank, you do not help the student; instead, you destroy the student. If a student makes rank without the struggle, the student will not be able to survive as a martial artist. The student will quickly lose interest in training and will soon quit training. You can show a student the path and encourage the student in the struggle, but if you make the struggle easier, you will only destroy the student.