Life Teachers

This is about teachers, but not in the traditional sense of the word – someone who goes to college for four years and then gets a teaching credential.  This is about the teacher in all of us.  For we are all one another’s teachers.  We have something to learn from everyone with whom we come into contact, everyday.  Those around us teach us about ourselves.  When we react to something in someone else, that reminds us to notice ourselves.  What was it we didn’t like about that, and why?  Have we ever noticed that same trait in ourselves, and do we reject that trait in ourselves, or are we able to be still and notice ourselves without judgment.  Clearly people have differences and value different things.  And clearly we don’t all behave the same way.  So how could we learn from someone with whom we have very little in common?  The truth is; as humans, we have a lot in common.  We all want to be accepted.  We all want to know and feel love.  We all have a survival instinct.  We all want to feel some sense of predictability and control.  So what could we learn from the thief who burglarized my office last year?  Maybe that when humans are suffering; and feel helpless and powerless to ease that suffering or find another path, we build a wall toward others and aren’t able to empathize with the suffering we would cause the other person.  When we are treated poorly, it helps when we can notice our own suffering from that, accept it, imagine the suffering that the other person must be feeling or have endured, and notice what we can learn from it.  We can also learn from being treated well.  It makes us feel good and reminds us of the good in ourselves and others.  When someone takes the time to smile, hold a door, or give a compliment; we may feel valued.  And we can pass that feeling on to another.  Today, I will see all humans around me as my teachers, and I will open myself to my own learning and growing from every contact I have with another person.