Life's Valuable Lessons
Karma is essentially about learning lessons
in your life from your actions, imperfections and mistakes.
My friend has a dog, a male golden retriever. Every day he
takes care of him with lot of love and attention. Because the
dog is sensitive, he needs exercise, regular food, love, and
attention. He serves him with a lot of patience as Mother Teresa
would have looked after a helpless person. I learned from him
that it was initially supposed to be his daughter's duty for
which he agreed to adopt the dog. However, it fell upon him
since she lost interest in the pet, as many children do once
they reach adolescence.
My friend does not consider that the pet is a burden. Instead
he feels grateful because having the pet around him gives him
many opportunities every day to show his human side and serve
him with love and compassion. He even admits that he used to
be a tough person and pensive with people, but the dog mellowed
his heart and taught him empathy and caring.
I know another person, whose son is paraplegic. It puts enormous
strain upon her to look after his helpless child, who remains
confined to the bed or a chair and needs assistance for everything.
In a country like the USA, you can understand how difficult
it is for a person to look after a sick child, besides doing
two jobs to take care of the household expenses and the expenses
for the medical treatment. Unlike many people I have seen, who
feel irritated and angered by their children when they act unreasonably,
she believes that the child has given her an opportunity to
practice patience and unconditional love. "No school and no
spiritual books can teach you that with such directness," she
says. When she goes to the Church, she prays for her son's recovery.
At the same time, she also thanks God for the opportunity the
child has given her to resonate with Christian virtues of love,
forgiveness, and compassion.
Do not be under the impression that what I have stated are
exceptional or extraordinary situations, or the people involved
are special. We all get such opportunities, millions of times,
almost every day and in every situation. We just do not recognize
them or take advantage of them. Countless people come into your
life, with different mindsets, attitudes, behavior, demands
and expectations. They teach you important lessons if you are
willing to learn, and give you opportunities to learn, to be
good and do good. They are the teachers that life throws at
you to polish your mind and elevate your thinking, behavior,
strength and character.
As they interact with you differently, you may experience
different positive and negative emotions. From each of them
you can learn something about yourself and work on your imperfections.
Other people's weaknesses and imperfections do not have to provoke
your weakness and imperfections. If you are willing to learn,
they can make you a better, and emotionally stronger person.
For example, some people in your life may easily annoy you
by touching your emotional tender spots. From them, you can
learn the virtue of tolerance and patience, or the strength
to deal such people without losing your humanity. Some may make
you feel small, weak, or envious, especially if they are happier
or more successful than you. From them, you can develop strength
and courage to accept yourself and make peace with your life
and achievements, without negavitely judging yourself. You can
also learn to value your own judgment, freedom, and independence.
When people betray your trust or show the mean side of their
behavior, you can learn from them valuable lessons about studying
human character and building right relationships.
Wise people and spiritual masters say that adversity is a
gift from God and you should not complain to God about the pain
he gives through various situations and circumstances in your
life. While we do not know whether God directly causes them
or Nature has embedded a certain transformative, and evolutionary
mechanism in the design of life to facilitate our mental and
emotional development, the truth is you can use the negative
situations in your life to build your character and strength.
When you have a situation that emotionally upsets you, ask yourself,
"What lessons I can learn from this or from the person who caused
it." You may be surprised to know the answers that spring from
The people in your life are there for a reason. You have
a karmic connection with them. They are meant to teach you certain
lessons with their knowledge as well as ignorance, and with
their perfections and imperfections. So are you. Therefore participate
in the school of life and wisdom like a student eager to learn
and improve. Learn from people and situations lessons about
the art of living. Use both positive and negative aspects of
your life, with an open mind, setting aside your likes and dislikes.
Learn from good as well as bad situations and interactions.
Nourish your mind from both complimentary and cross conversations,
from people who love and hate you, and from those you love and
hate. When people exemplify negative qualities, you can learn
from them too by knowing how to deal with them, when to tolerate
them and when to stay away from them. They are opportunities
that life gives you to improve your character, knowledge and
Therefore, if you have a problem right now, or if there are
difficult people in your life who are disturbing you and giving
you sleepless nights, ask yourself, what lessons you can learn
from them, what weaknesses they are provoking in you, and how
you can make use of them. This way every situation in your life
becomes a positive opportunity to learn and become a better
For Further Reading