Recently, I read this story by Richard W. Chilson, in a book called Yeshua of Nazareth: Spiritual Master. Chilson wrote
"I remember an embarrassing incident that brought to mind that the 'enemy' is my brother. I was driving home on the freeway and as I approached my exit a car dawdled in front of me. Too late to pass him; I was stuck following: as usual I was in a hurry. That driver inspired in me a whole slew of invectives. Spewing epithets I pulled up alongside at the stoplight by the exit. I looked over only to discover a dear friend. Instantly the situation changed although I had not done anything public to express my rage, I felt ashamed and guilty. How could I think these things about him? I had seen him as an obstacle, not a brother. It is the same with the other no matter the situation, from the person ahead of us in line, to our age-old enemy. Whoever it is, they have the same concerns, fears, gifts, and shortcomings we all do. Just another human being trying to do their best, a fellow sufferer of life, a brother or sister at heart, at least in the heart of God."
Reading this passage made me think about the things people do that irritate and bother me. Would I feel the same if they were my friend and not a stranger? Conversely, I also had to think about what irritates me in my friends, but not in strangers. In both these situations, I came to realize that not only was I learning how to practice mental and emotional unity with others, but I was only developing a greater sense of unity within myself. I was connecting with the parts of myself that had the same concerns, the same fears, the same gifts, and the same shortcomings.
When I realized all this, I was reminded that we are each human beings, on the same journey, each working on doing the best we can. We are each teaching each other something. We are each learning something from each other. We are each helping each other grow and evolve in our journeys. We are all students together in the classroom of the Ultimate Consciousness.