In a sense, people are our proper occupation. Our job is to do them good and put up with them.
But when they obstruct our proper tasks, they become irrelevant to us – like sun, wind, animals. Our actions may be impeded by them, but there can be no impeding our intention or our dispositions. Because we can accommodate and adapt. The mind adapts and converts to its own purposes the obstacle to our acting.
The impediment to action advances action.
What stands in the way becomes the way.
~ Marcus Aurelius (Meditations 5.20)
While this is an often used quote, it is one that we need to reflect on and give a deeper understanding to.
Our job is to do good to/for other people.
It isn’t to hoodwink them into some scheme, or to step on them on the way up some ladder.
And, we must put up with them.
Though, only so long as they don’t obstruct what it is we are wanting to do.
If they do, then they become irrelevant to us.
When we change our thinking to look at obstacles as a way forward, not something that creates a dead stop, we can embrace them.
What stands in the way becomes the way