Who are those people that you associate yourself with every day? Why do you get involved with them and how do they fit into your life?
It is the purpose of life to find itself and to experience itself in the physical world. Life does not need to learn anything but "is" simply to experience all aspects of its self.
So who are these people that you have brought into your life or not? If you have your own circle of family, friends, and associates; why do you need strangers and what do they all have in common with you? What is the real value in a relationship with people, animals or objects; yes objects. Most of us spend more time with objects than we do with other living creatures. Why is that, and is it a good thing; does it work for us to spend our quality time with things?
To answer all the questions with one statement, I would explain that we live in a relative world; we are "this or that" relative to something else. Because life only knows that it "is," it seeks to find out "what" it is, just as an infant seeks to find itself relative to its surroundings.
When you are born and you begin to see, you are aware that you are one with your surroundings. As you begin to explore your body you begin to notice some differences and similarities between yourself, your crib, and the creatures who come to visit and talk to you. These things which surround you give you definition and at this point in your life, you realize that they are bigger, more powerful than you, and for the most part; out of your reach. From your perspective, they are nameless objects that taste, feel, smell, make noises, and look a certain way.
But what are they in relationship to you? Do they define you or are you defining them? The truth is that they are all part of you; they give you definition. You are alone in this world as a nameless and formless life-force that seeks to define itself. You are creating a new world in which you are the only living creature. The others are aspects of yourself that have come before you and are here now to help you experience what you will know as life.
Your parents are part of you who allowed you to experience being born, an infant, child and finally an adult. Before you could explain your environment, they did it for you, and early in your life of innocence, you accepted it completely as their truth and yours. For the first few years of your life you have been experiencing trust. One of the grandest aspects of physical life is distance and time. Once you were part of what surrounded you; now there is space and time between the things you know about.
Your family has given you their truth and defined who you are in relationship to what they believe themselves to be. Now for the rest of your life, you will use others and your environment to define yourself and you will begin to replace their truth with your own. You will experience life according to you. You will define life itself through your experiences, and in relationship to all things.
You are a son or daughter in relationship to a parent. You are a brother or sister in relationship to other siblings. You are a friend, lover, husband or wife, Good Samaritan, killer, rapist, thief, benefactor in kind with others. Without these people you would be nothing, nameless and alone. These people all give you the same thing. The gift that all strangers bring you is "opportunity." They are all different aspects of yourself with an opportunity for you to interact with yourself as "this or that."
If you imagine yourself as a good or bad child; your parents give you that opportunity. If you imagine yourself as a good or bad sibling; your sister or brother offers you that experience. Your friends are there to allow you to "be" or define yourself as being one thing or another.
Your lover or spouse offers you an opportunity to experience yourself in a close, intimate relationship where there are fewer opportunities for real deception unless you are deceiving yourself.
The most challenging and rewarding relationships are with those who are the closest to you, including your enemies or the ones who give you the greatest grief. The most difficult relationship is an opportunity for you to experience the best of what you are or the worst you can be - this relationship brings the greatest gift. It's easy to get along with someone who agrees with you and never challenges you. But there is little room for growth and self awareness. The path beaten down offers little opportunity for expression. The path riddled with pot holes, rocks, trees, hills and enemies is opportunity for enlightenment and awareness of whom and what you really are. It is a chance for life to define itself as one thing or the other. It is the purpose of life to know itself and express new life.
The rich man who sits at home alone is without definition or experience - dead in the water. Eventually he will forget who he really is and will redefine himself in relationship to what he can see, smell, taste, hear and feel in his little box. Life cannot be contained or it will move on. It is the same life in me that is in you and life knows itself through its individualized parts in the physical world. It is the right hand bonding with the left in acknowledgement of self. This is life, all things are appropriate and all things must be experienced in order to be complete. No life is ever wasted and it cannot be destroyed.
In order for a person to realize his greatest achievements, he must look at all things as opportunities for definition. All strangers come bearing gifts. Not all gifts are received, nor do they have to be. They are simply opportunities presented to you so that you may express yourself in the moment as "this" or "that." Life is all there is and it interacts with itself in order to experience what it already knows. Life does not have to go to school, it simply needs to experience.