I've long held to the belief that I am your student. Yes, specifically you.
I am also your teacher. Again, yes, specifically, you.
There's a term for that. It's called interdependence.
Every day, as I move throughout it, I share experiences with other people. They teach me things, about themselves, and myself.
Among the things that I've learned:
- Words matter. Being cruel to someone else in even a tiny way is significant. It hurts them and it hurts me.
- If I love me, I can love you, too. In fact, I have to love me first.
- It's easy to unthinkingly hurt another person.
- It's easy to unthinkingly be hurt by another person.
- Actions matter. When you care about someone or something, it's never a waste of your time to show it, to do something about it.
- Words don't matter. Okay, I know that I'm directly contradicting myself here. This is possible. Language is a tool we use, and a necessary evil. But often it's a trap. We get stuck on labels, meanings, and expectations derived from language.
All this is on my mind because a friend of mine wrote me this morning and told me, while blushing fiercely, that I'm sort of their hero. They find me to be further along a path they themselves want to travel down.
It was an immense compliment, and one I thanked them for profusely. I do take it as an honor, but not a sign of special status. I'm no guru. If anything, I find that each day I'm alive, I find I know less than the day before. There's a verse of the Tao te Ching that speaks to this.
I'm grateful that each day I can help others to heal themselves of what they know, and seek the wisdom of what they experience. I'm grateful that each day, they do the same for me.