Eli Weisel, of all people, wrote: "For me every hour is grace. And I feel gratitude in my heart each time I can meet someone and look at him or her and smile."
Boy, do I wish that I could be as magnanimous as Elie Wiesel! Don't get me wrong...I really DO love most human beings out there, but there ARE certain people who wander into and out of my life that I really can't stand and who invariably get my hackles up.
Did you ever notice that what drives you crazy about one person can be the very thing you like in another?! If I already love - or even like - a person, I tend to cut them some slack; when it comes to those who I don't really like, or can barely tolerate, well...that's a different story!
I have a great friend from high school - Kenneth - who defines love as: "a filter that allows you to bring out and see the best in another person."
My best definitions of God Himself is: mercy, unconditional love, grace and the "Big Boss " who cuts us some slack. So why is it so hard for little 'ol me to have this same kind of tolerance?
Let's use the example of Jesus, for God's sake. His greatest achievement, in my mind, was to show us that, despite being reviled, tortured, beaten, brutalized, and humiliated by his fellow man (after doing nothing but good deeds!) he still had forgiveness in his heart. And he basically said anything he could do, we could as well. Now there's a stretch!
There is one guy in my life right now who I see on almost a daily basis and, even though I don't know him very well, he makes my skin crawl. In my perception, he's singularly unattractive: ponderous, boring, very opinionated, no humor, and judgmental of others. Why does he in particular drive me crazy right now. (And believe me, if it's not him, there always seems to be someone lurking around the next corner who conjures up similar aversion by me.)
Well, could it be that I'm looking at a mirror of some sorts? Don't I have all of those same qualities at times? Are they so reprehensible in me? Ram Dass says that when someone pushes our buttons, we should affirm: "And I am that too."
A Course in Miracles, one of my very favorite spiritual guide books, says quite simply: "Forgiveness is the key to happiness."
And it affirms, time and again, that we should treat and even think of each person as a brother on this journey called life.
So I'm rethinking this whole thing about this particular guy who seems to be such a thorn in my side. Someone once told me to pray for those we find offensive...OK, I surrender: "My brother who drives me crazy, you are now officially in my prayers."