Our Life and Others
In order to graduate with an Electrical Engineering degree, there were many focused classes I needed to master - beginning with several calculus curricula.
Likewise, my university schoolmates studying Economics were also obligated to pass certain calculus programs.
Yet their calculus studies and exams were quite different from mine. Same subject, very contrasting experiences.
Was one better or harder than the other?
Depends on perspective.
Had I studied their books and syllabi there is no way I would have learned the lessons necessary to graduate with an EE degree. Correspondingly, econ majors would likely find engineering calculus frustratingly ineffective for their studies.
Once again, same subject, drastically differing experiences.
In a similar vein, each one of us is majoring in an area called Life. Along the way there are specialties to study and lessons we must learn. Yet while we're enrolled in many of the same subjects, our curriculum is very different from one another.
Your syllabus, books, and exams are nothing at all like mine. And mine are nothing at all like another's.
We all have lessons we grapple with that might seem easy for another person. Similarly, lessons we've mastered present difficulties for others.
Which is why we can never compare our life to another. Paraphrasing Tolstoy's Anna Karenina, everyone struggles in their own way. Which is also why we should look on everyone with compassion and gentleness. Every one.
The obstacles we all face are referred to as trials in A Course in Miracles.
Trials are but lessons that you failed to learn presented once again. (T-31.VIII.3)
Having these lessons continually re-presented gives us an opportunity to excel and master. The good news is that we will all graduate with the highest honors. When, is up to us.
So, as we look on one another, let's remember the tender words of the philosopher Philo, slightly tuned for our topic: "Be kind, for everyone you meet is working through a challenging curriculum."
And let's especially direct that loving guidance to ourselves.
Join me in Thursday's Zoom session where we'll dig into the nature of trials and working through them to experience more peace. I look forward to seeing you then.