“I have learned silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet, strange, I am ungrateful to those teachers.” ~ Khalil Gibran
There have been endless studies done on when we stop or slow down how much we change. There is an opinion as we get older we become set in our ways. While there is science behind this research, I would challenge that our ability to change is determined by our desire to change.
When I was younger I would say I hadn’t recognized the truth in the quote above. I knew the things which I liked often by being around that which I didn’t like. Yet, I hadn’t quite grasped how to be grateful for it. Therefore, I failed to recognize those situations were my teacher.
Over time, and reading numerous books I have realized I can change. I can replace a bad habit with a good habit. I can become aware of the power of my words and become more selective in the choice and tone of those words. Better still, I can recognize that while I may not agree with someone else I am not required to own the words of others. Once I reached this awareness, it truly altered who I was.
There is a great quote by Sivananda Saraswati “This world is your best teacher. There is a lesson in everything. There is a lesson in each experience. Learn it and become wise. Every failure is a stepping stone to success. Every difficulty or disappointment is a trial of your faith. Every unpleasant incident or temptation is a test of your inner strength. Therefore nil desperandum. March forward hero!”
When we see the people, situations, challenges and life as our teacher we alter our reaction. We seek to learn from it rather than to defend our position. We seek to grow, to share and to teach others. We find the end of the day brings a time of positive reflection.
Today, how was I more patient, more understanding and more open to learn? Consider the shift your life would make if you saw the world as your teacher.