No man is an enemy
No man is a friend
Everyman is a teacher
I first read this quote on a TV programme about prisoner in the USA. One prisoner had displayed this quote on his prison wall. The documentary was a British ITV programme called `Inside Death Row' with Trevor McDonald. Shown on 17/1/2013 9-10pm. The presenter was impressed with the quote as I was.
Trying to find the author of this quote I came across many websites where it was used. Some had slight variation to it.
No man is your friend,
No man is your enemy,
Every man your teacher
No man is my friend,
No man is my enemy,
Every man is my teacher.
It seems to me that this may have been an old Hindu saying. Lord Dattatreya's life story comes to mind as we know that he was inspired by all people and things around him. They became his 24 Gurus.
The quote led me to a website of a book written in 1925. It perhaps is the oldest verified source.
Book written by Florence Scovel Shinn.
The title of the book ---The Game of Life and How to Play It
First published in 1925,
There is an old saying, "No man is your enemy, no man is your friend, every man is your teacher." If it could be possible to remain impartial, to create enough space to distance ourselves from the other by minimizing our projections, just perhaps we could take note of the divinity that runs deeply through each and every one of us.
By saluting the divinity, we make an offering to spirit. We are all a part of the same mystical web, and to dislocate ourselves from another, only keeps us separate from ourselves. Suffering is not necessary to our development. What is necessary is to learn what those in our lives are here to offer. It is in their offering and in our receiving that the true teaching takes root. Freedom comes in loving, and loving comes only when we are truly free. ~ Sdukes
Stop, Look, and Listen--for your Lessons in Life
Did you know that every person you come in contact with is there to help you with one of your life's lessons? Some people will enter your life for just a few moments, some for a few days, some for a few months, and some for many years. All of these people have one thing in common - they are there to help you with one of the lessons you need to learn in your life.
There is an ancient saying that "No man is my friend, no man is my enemy, every man is my teacher." When you choose to look at everyone you meet as a teacher, you will then be able to stop, look, and truly listen to what these people have to say. You will hear the guidance and direction you need to take for your next step in your life journey.
So many of us go through life not really seeing or hearing others. We are so caught up in the hustle and bustle of the times that we don't have a clue as to what signs and guidance we may be missing. Many times we are the "walking unconscious". This means we go through portions of our lives unaware of our surroundings. In this state of mind we will miss some valuable guidance.
When you don't stop and really listen to others, you will miss the guidance and wisdom that may make your life much better. You may miss the signs that could save you a lot of time and grief later on. You may miss the wisdom needed to make better decisions each step of the way. You may continue to repeat your mistakes. You may continue to "spin your wheels" without getting anywhere or making any real progress. You may feel stuck, confused and hopeless.
So much of your time and energy could be saved and used more productively if you would only stop, look, and listen for your lessons in life. For example: The next time a friend or acquaintance recommends a book to read pay attention. Take note and get the recommended book and read it. There may be a lesson for you in the words of the book. I always get the book if two different people recommended it to me. That is always my sign that there is something in the book that I need to know that will guide me in some way. When someone recommends something to you pay attention. There is a lesson to be learned. If you hear the same message repeated by someone else you can be sure you need to listen and learn your life lesson.
Everyone you meet is a teacher for you even if it's just for the moment. Stop what you are doing and open up your ears and heart to hear the messages that are being sent to you through others. When something goes wrong, learn from it. When something goes well, learn from it. Find your lessons around you. Your life's journey will be much simpler and less stressed when you choose to stop, look, listen, and learn from everyone you meet.
Be thankful for your lessons, learn from them, and then move on to your next life lesson. Enjoy your ever evolving and enlightening journey.