Cruising a Bouncy River

Two travelling monks reached the bank of a river, where they met a young lady of the night. Wary of the current, she asked whether they could carry her across. The first monk just stood there hesitantly, but the second one quickly lifted her up onto his shoulders. Together, the monks waded through the river until they reached the other side, where the second monk set the young lady down on the bank. The woman thanked him and continued on her journey.

Over the next several days, the monks continued on their journey. However, the first monk became restlessly quiet and more and more preoccupied. Unable to hold his silence, he finally spoke with anger. “The 245th verse in the 4th volume of our holy book teaches us to avoid any contact with women—let alone that sort of a woman. But you picked that one up on your shoulders and carried her!” “Brother,” the second monk replied calmly, “I set her down on the other side, while you are still carrying her.”

All of us know the price we pay for not letting go of the baggage from the past.  ‘Not letting go’ is perhaps the most common virus in the human DNA. It’s the simplest yet the deadliest destroyer of many relationships. The antibiotic to treat this disease lies within us, and not in any wise stories from some CEO’s desk. The stories inked at the CEO’s desk are not designed for preaching, they are merely an honest attempt to share personal observations on alternative outlooks. The above story presents one such opening to analyze things differently, an opportunity to illustrate the difference between the much-debated

IQ vs. EQ.

No doubt, the first monk has a high IQ— how else can he remember the numeric details of the holy verses?  However, besides a high IQ, he also carries a lot of baggage in his personality: anger, restlessness, obsessive disorder, lack of empathy, decision-making hesitancy, etc. All these are signs of an inadequate emotional balance, more popularly known as EQ.

So, does that mean EQ is more important than IQ? No. For, the second monk was not only emotionally stable; he was also a very intelligent being. That’s why he understood the right interpretation of the verses in the scriptures.

IQ is like ‘fuel’ in the car, EQ is like the ‘steering wheel’. While a car with no steering wheel is directionless, a car with no fuel is meaningless! I believe, in our personal as well as our professional lives, only those who possess sufficient fuel and a stable steering wheel are able to cruise smoothly.

Adapted, Balance, Attitude, Style


  1. Its a great way to understand the importance of being good both in terms of EQ and IQ and a great illustration tops it all.
    Thank you Sir.

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Cruising a Bouncy River - Arun Nathani Blog