Gurdjieff was a renowned spiritual teacher who lived in the early part of the twentieth century. Within the community there was a very bad tempered man. No one could stand him because he was very aggressive. Every little thing caused him to spin off into a tantrum. Everything irritated him. He complained constantly, and so everyone felt the need to tiptoe around him, to avoid an explosion. Most just wished he would go away.
Gurdjieff regularly would get his students to do meaningless tasks. One day there was about 40 people cutting up a lawn into little pieces and moving it to another place on the grounds.
That was it for this angry man and so he blew up, got in his car and stormed off. There was a spontaneous celebration in the community as he left. But when they told Gurdjieff what had happened he responded, “Oh, no!” and went off to find him.
Three days later they both came back. That night as one of the students was serving Gurdjieff his supper he asked, “Sir why did you bring him back?”
Gurdjieff lowered his voice, “Your not going to believe this, and you must tell no one, but I pay him to be here!”
Pema Chodron – Shambhala Pocket Classics
I’m pretty sure people aren’t paying annoying or aggressive people to be our life, however, what I have learned over and over again, is until I learn the lesson that this difficult person is teaching me about me, they will definitely hang around like they are being paid!
“Most misunderstandings in the world could be avoided if people would simply take the time to ask, “What else could this mean?”