I am always amazed at how, when we keep our minds open, we can learn something or other from someone or other.
The trick is to be conscious, mindful.
We can find mentors and teachers everywhere we look, in the most unexpected places sometimes.
Take the guy who collects the garbage in our apartment complex. Always pleasant. Always greets every resident with a smile. He doesn’t have an easy job. It is not fun to go from door to door with a huge bucket to collect wet waste. It stinks. And oh, it is hard work! Yet he’s there every day, punctual, to do his job.
When I see him, I feel humbled. I realize I have so much more than he has, materially and have no right to complain about any thing. Not that I do – I prefer to see the silver lining in every thing. But you know what I mean.
Then there’s this SHero in our apartment complex. 80 years and counting. She is the life and soul of any activity or gathering in our building. Last week, one of the residents was sick. Now this resident is one mean-tempered lady, always grumbling or yelling at someone. Apparently she puked blood. She called her neighbor, a young girl who lives with her Mom. She wanted the girl to accompany her to the hospital. It was past midnight. The girl got a little scared and called our SHero. Who came over immediately. Called another neighbor with a car and took the sick lady to hospital. By the time they returned home it was 3.30 am in the morning. Just four hours later, she was up and running around, organizing things for the festival we were celebrating in the residents’ club. Cheerful is the word that comes to mind. What is funny is, the lady who was sick was always saying mean things to SHero. Yet, when it came to an emergency, compassion ruled.
I could go on with more examples.
Okay, I’ll go with one more!
See this tree.
Was chopped off some months ago. Only a stub remained. Then, imagine our surprise when two leaves appeared. Then another, and another. Until it was covered with fresh green leaves. Funny sight – the big tree trunk with the leaves directly sprouting from it. But what a sign of hope! Many of the residents were upset about having to cut that tree and we rejoiced when it started growing afresh. It did not give up.
Everyone, everything we come in contact with has something to teach. It may be some skill, or a wisdom. We only have to look. Question. And be open to the answers and the learning that comes with them. Everything is valuable. It is up to us to choose to learn, or not. We can add our learning to our own repository of knowledge and our value system to enable us make better choices and decisions.
When I go to bed every day, I have made it a habit to take stock of what I learned and sleep with a peaceful and full heart. And that is how I grow my inner garden.
When the student is ready, the master appears. ~Buddhist Proverb
You learn something every day if you pay attention. ~Ray LeBlond
Man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes
Are you open to learning?
What did you learn today?