One day, a little angel who wanted to be a big angel was spending some time with a more seasoned angel. They were invisibly walking down a busy city street, and the older angel said to the apprentice angel: "Would you like to hear something amazing?"
The little angel said, "I don't know," because he knew that whenever the older angel asked him things like this, he was about to receive a certain spiritual shock. The little angel finally said, "Well, all right, what is it?"
They proceeded down the street and into a little coffee shop, and in there was a man drinking his coffee. As the two angels took a seat, in walked a devil (also moving about invisibly). The devil sauntered in and sat right next to the man drinking his coffee.
The little angel knew that he was getting close to the lesson at this point, and the senior angel said, "Come on over here."
Now, angels can see devils but devils can't see angels, so this devil couldn't see the two angels watching him. If he could have seen them, then he never would have done what he was about to do, because everything that angels learn about what devils are doing gives angels the opportunity to teach human beings how to be smarter than devils.
So, this devil leans over to the man sitting there in the coffee shop, and the angels lean forward to hear something that the devil whispers into the man's ear. The little angel falls back and says, "Ah ha! I see now. This explains so much." The senior angel confirms, "That's right."
What the little angel heard the devil whisper in the man's ear was this: "Take this pain and pass it along." With those words, the devil gave that man a little bit of pain.
The angels followed the man as he walked down the street. When he got to his car, he found that somebody had parked his car too close to his, making it very hard for him to get out of his parking space. A string of oaths came out of the man's mouth as he contemplated banging his car into the offending car.
Then, just as he lets out that stream of violent energy, a woman walking down the street nearby -- who actually didn't hear what the man said -- did exactly what the devil had told the man to do, which was to "take this pain and pass it along. " That woman picked up the man's pain and never even knew it, never saw it, never felt it go into her.
The moment that pain entered into the woman walking down the street, she looked in a store window and saw a co-worker who had said something to her yesterday. Now she knew why she was in pain because there was "the idiot that made her feel that way."
The woman in the shop looked out and saw the woman looking in with a scowl on her face (that she didn't know she had on her face), and felt the pain that woman was passing along to her. The minute the woman in the store felt it, she began to think of her son who had gotten bad grades and who continued to resist the education that was necessary, and she made up her mind that when she got home, she was going to "ground him and really show him something"… and to the devil's delight, the pain was passed along endlessly to unsuspecting human beings.