I once had a co-worker and close friend, who was a 2nd degree black belt in Sho en ru (sp?) Karate and had his own dojo. He was practicing, teaching and of course learning a form of Zen meditation. He told that the way he looked at it was that we were all travelers on the same river. Some of us were swimming hard down stream. Others were just floating along on the current, going with the flow. Others were swimming as hard as they could upstream just to stay where they were. Some of us are caught in a snag or log jam or stuck on a sand bar or an island in the river. We are all at different places and all going at our own pace; but, we are all on the same river, going the same place. I’ve never forgotten this piece of wisdom, understanding and tolerance. To expand upon this allegory to fit some of my own thinking, we all are coming from different places, streams, tributaries if you will and must travel our own path along the river system at our own speed. Some times we get hung up. Some time we take a break and rest for a while on and island; but, we all are on the same river system, all going the same place. Whether we apply this to our spiritual, religious, enlightenment, education, maturity or to all of life in general, I think that it applies equally well to all of them. I invite your comment, opinions, or other similar bits of wisdom you may have learned along your particular path.