By Martha O’Regan
I recently read a profound explanation by a 6-year-old boy as to why dogs live shorter lives than humans. He said, “People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life — like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right? Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.”
So, I guess as long as someone is still alive, there must be more to learn. But to learn more, we first have to be willing to learn and then we have to be teachable.
Recognizing that every person and every experience we encounter is part of our growth and development is a huge first step in our willingness to learn. Yes, even those folks and situations that rock our world or tweak our last nerve are our teachers. We all know folks who already know everything, or at least they proclaim they do. These are the folks who seem bored when someone else is sharing their latest nugget of information garnered from a book they read or seminar they attended. Or, chomping at the bit to “one up” what others are sharing before the other person even has a chance to finish theirs. They are the ones who say “I know” to just about anything anyone around them says. I suppose many of us have likely fallen into one or more of these social pitfalls at some time in our lives but once observed in either ourselves or others’, created a willingness to learn a new way of sharing with others. Our conscious awareness to how we share with others allows us to truly listen and learn from each person and situation we encounter in our lives.
I believe we each have a unique curriculum that we came to earth school to learn and we continue to create circumstances in our lives to learn from until we finally get the lesson. Sometimes it takes that sledge hammer experience to really get it, and once we do, there is usually another one around the corner. Becoming aware of our individual curriculum allows us to see each person and encounter as part of that course, creating clarity, and sometimes confusion, as we navigate our day to day. Some lessons are easier to grasp than others yet each one is a unique stepping stone in our evolution. For instance, pain and illness create their own curriculum as we learn to listen to our body’s request for more oxygen, better nourishment and hydration, or to move with more grace and ease.
I am reminded by a story that a friend shared about his mother’s transition. The day before she left her earthly body, she shared with her son that the previous evening she had an opportunity to spend time with “the Divine” and learned three things. One was that the will to live was the strongest of all human desires, another is that every thought is a silent prayer and every prayer is received by the Divine, and finally, but most importantly, it really is all about love. Although she expressed some regret that she spent so much time in the material world worrying about things that she couldn’t control, she was grateful to know she had loved deeply and had been loved by many, and to know that through it all, she was truly communicating her deepest thoughts, wishes and dreams to the One who mattered most. This gave her the peace she needed to move on to her next adventure. It seems to me that at this juncture, she must have learned all that she was supposed to and was free to go.
So, what is your curriculum? What are you here in earthly school to become? Are you willing to learn and listen? Are you teachable? Pondering these questions moving forward will hopefully create a new awareness of each person or situation you encounter along with a curiosity about how it fits into the grand scheme of learning how to live the good life. So, here’s to loving others and being nice! Live Well … Have Fun!