A ninety-one year old woman died after living a long dignified life.
When she met God she asked him something that had long bothered her. If Man was created in God's image, and if all men are created equal, why do people treat each other so badly?
God replied that each person who enters our life has a unique lesson to teach us. And it is only through these lessons that we learn about life, people, relationships and God. This confused the woman, so God began to explain. When someone lies to you it teaches you that things are not always as they seem. The truth is often far beneath the surface. Look beyond the masks people wear if you want to know their heart. And remove your own masks to let people know yours.
When someone steals from you it teaches you that nothing is forever. Always appreciate what you have, for you never know when you might lose it. And never, ever take your friends and family for granted because today is the only guarantee you have.
When someone inflicts an injury upon you it teaches you that the human state is a fragile one. Protect and take care of your body as best you can, it's the only thing you are sure to have forever.
When someone mocks you it teaches you that no two people are alike. When you encounter people who are different from you, don't judge them by how they look or act; instead base your opinion on the contents of their heart.
When someone breaks your heart it teaches you that loving someone does not always mean that person will love you back. But don't turn your back on love because when you find the right person, the joy that one person brings will make up for all the past hurts put together. Times ten.
When someone holds a grudge against you it teaches you that everyone makes mistakes. When you are wronged, the most virtuous thing you can do is forgive the offender without pretense.
Forgiving those who have hurt us is the most difficult and courageous thing Man can do. When a loved one is unfaithful to you it teaches you that resisting temptation is Man's greatest challenge. Be vigilant in your resistance against all temptation. By doing so you will be rewarded with an enduring sense of satisfaction far greater than the temporary pleasure by which you were tempted. When someone cheats you, it teaches you that greed is the root of all evil.
Live to make your dreams come true, no matter how lofty they may be. Do not feel guilty about your success, but never let an obsession with achieving your goals lead you to engage in wicked activities.
When someone ridicules you it teaches you that nobody is perfect. Accept people for their merits and be tolerant of their flaws. Do not ever reject someone for imperfections over which they have no control.
Upon hearing the Lord's wisdom, the old woman became concerned that there were no lessons to be learned from Man's good deeds.
God replied that Man's capacity to love is the greatest gift he has. At the root of all kindness is love, and each act of love also teaches us a lesson.
The woman's curiosity deepening, God once again began to explain.
When someone loves us it teaches us that love, kindness, charity, honesty, humility, forgiveness and acceptance can counteract all the evil in the world. For every good deed, there is one less evil deed. Man alone has the power to control the balance between good and evil, but because the lessons of love are not taught often enough, the power is too often abused.
When you enter someone's life, whether by plan, chance or coincidence, consider what your lesson will be.
Will you teach love or a harsh lesson of reality? When you die will your life have resulted in more loving or hurting? More comfort or pain? More joy or sadness? Each one of us has power over the balance of love in the world. Use it wisely. Don't miss an opportunity to nudge the world's scale in the right direction.