No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with uplifting, supportive, encouraging people, we cannot escape the fact that we live in the real world, full of real people, with real flaws. From the surly DMV attendant to the friend who betrays your confidence to the boss who continually belittles your best efforts, you cannot go through a day without encountering someone who seems not to have your best interest at heart.
But what if instead of allowing these experiences to hurt or anger us, we took a step back and asked, "What can I learn from this encounter?" We might be surprised to discover these individuals have actually given us a gift. Over time we can learn to to meet frustration with patience, ignorance with wisdom, and cruelty with compassion. By changing our response we may even make an impression on the agent of our angst and help him find a better way forward.
What negative encounter can you turn into a learning opportunity today?