The Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi tells about the path of the strategic way. Written in the time of the samurai in the early Edo period of Japan, this book has an enduring legacy. Within this article we will see how the ideas of the Five Rings can help us achieve greater heights as students.
1: “From one thing, know ten thousand things.”
This quote from Miyamoto Musashi shows us how much we can learn from what looks like so little. In the classroom, we are sometimes presented with an idea that doesn’t look like it is worth remembering because it has little use.
Say you’re taking ceramics with Mr. Payne—on the surface level, clay creations might not seem to go much deeper than the surface. However, learning and mastering the techniques of the trade can prove to teach you much about yourself and the things you enjoy, offer you a new hobby or escape from stress, and the many plentiful words of wisdom and stories from Mr. Payne.
2: “You must understand that there is more than one path to the top of the mountain.”
This quote from the Five Rings shows us that there are many ways to reach a goal. As students, we see that when completing an assignment there are multiple ways to do so creatively.
Imagine you’re in Coach Porta’s Precalculus class graphing trigonometric functions. You might graph out an entire function by hand with asymptotes and transformations and have no idea if you made any mistakes. However, there is always another way. In order to check your work, your TI-84 calculator can provide the example of what your graph should look like, allowing you to check the work you did.
3: “It is difficult to understand the universe if you only study one planet.”
This quote shows us as students that we can learn a lot from one thing.
If you have Coach Kroh, you might wonder why you are learning about the stages of learning and stages of moral development. Each of these systems are ways to perceive the world around you. Characters from stories and people from real life operate around the stages of learning and stages of moral development. We now can see how they are systems that help us understand the world.
4: “Perceive that which cannot be seen with the eye.”
This quote shows us perspective and its importance. Oftentimes, the most important elements of something lay below the surface. These things require close investigation to uncover, and are often overlooked without close attention, and the use of all of our senses.
Picture yourself in theatre class with Ms. Reisert. Your sight is certainly an important element to acting, but it is by no means all you need. So much of a good performance and the skills that go along with it require a deep understanding of the lines you are saying and how exactly you should say them to elicit the feelings and response that you intend to.
5: “Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world.”
Finally, this quote shows us that our focus must be on the outer world.
If you have Mr. Chitwood for finance and investment, you can see the importance of understanding the world of finance. In the class, we learn about all the different things in the financial world and how they impact us. We can see that thinking deeply about the world of finances can be beneficial.
The wisdom from the Five Rings can show us new ways of thinking that can help our creativity. Miyamoto Musashi was a brilliant leader and strategist. His wisdom stands the test of time and is important to us today.