I am thinking about relationships this morning in preparation for a talk I am giving tomorrow evening.  It’s good to be reminded of the easily accessible tools that can make our relationships more productive, more peaceful and more enjoyable, moment by moment.  In fact, I have come to believe that our greatest lesson in this life is learning how to live peacefully with our fellow-travelers.  Those who show up on our path didn’t make their appearance “accidentally.”  We have work to do together or we wouldn’t be encountering each other.

Does this seem like a strange idea to you? Hopefully not, but if it does, reflect on even your recent past with a few “strangers.”  Can you see now what you may have learned from one another?  Perhaps it was patience.  Maybe tolerance.  Or appreciation.  Acceptance is always one of the most available of all lessons for me.  Being willing to give up control, letting every person I meet live the life they choose to live, comes with practice.  And some days practice is necessary again and again.

An unchallenged life wouldn’t be all that interesting though.  Throughout the day ahead, give thanks for every person who crosses your path, at home or in the workplace or the grocery.  Your “teachers” are every where.  And you are teaching each of them as well.  Expect homework!