This is a favorite story of mine. I found it a long time ago in a book by Ram Dass called Journey of Awakening - A Meditator's Guidebook. It is a Sufi story that Ram Dass borrowed from a book called The Sufi Message of Hazrat Inayat Khan

A young lad was sent to school. He began his lessons with the other children, and the first lesson the teacher set him was the straight line, the figure "one". But whereas the others went on progressing, this child continued writing the same figure. After two or three days, the teacher came up to him and said, "Have you finished your lesson?" He said, "No, I'm still writing 'one'". He went on doing the same thing, and when at the end of the week the teacher asked him again he said, "I have not yet finished it." The teacher thought that he was an idiot and should be sent away, as he could not or did not want to learn. At home the child continued with the same exercise and the parents also became tired and disgusted. He simply said "I have not yet learned it, I am learning it. When I have finished I shall take the other lessons." The parents said, "The other children are going on further, school has given you up, and you do not show any progress; we are tired of you." And the lad thought with sad heart that as he had displeased his parents too he had better leave home. So he went into the wilderness and lived on fruits and nuts. After a long time he returned to his old school. And when he saw the teacher he said to him, "I think I have learned it. See if I have. Shall I write on this wall?" And when he made his sign the wall split in two.

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