Today’s thought from Hazelden is:
Every person is a potential learning partner
I recently met someone at a friend’s home whom I took an instant dislike to. Everything about the man got under my skin. He was loud; he didn’t listen to others when they spoke; he seemed particularly dismissive of women; he was very judgmental, from my perception; and it seemed we had nothing in common. Then I heard him mention he was in recovery. What a difference that piece of information made to me! I wondered why I was so quick to dismiss him and then just as quickly forgive him his apparent flaws when I found out we shared the most important of all my values.
This gave me a lot of food for thought over the next few days. I had heard all the clichés “you spot it, you got it” and “everyone is a mirror of yourself.” I did recognize some of my own characteristics in this man, particularly those that I abhorred, but I still wondered what allowed me to instantly see him differently when I found out we were both in recovery. I haven’t completely sorted this out, but I do think having the willingness to set aside my judgments when I want to means I can set them aside even when I don’t want to. They have not become hardened in concrete, but are merely hovering over my shoulders until I throw them off. The decision to do so is always as close as my next thought.
What I most realized from this meeting is that this man served as a great learning partner for me – that every person who crosses our path is a potential learning partner. I was willing to cast him aside after judging him and concluding that he had nothing to offer me. In fact, his very presence reminded me once again that every person is “in my face” for a reason, and there’s a lesson to be learned, if not now, later.
You are reading from the book:
Cultivating Hope by Karen Casey. Copyright 2009 by Hazelden Foundation. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. No portion of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without the written permission of Hazelden.