I’ve found this misattributed to the Buddha in a number of books:
Imagine that every person in the world is enlightened but you. They are all your teachers, each doing just the right things to help you learn perfect patience, perfect wisdom, perfect compassion.
This bears no resemblance to anything in the Buddhist scriptures. It turns out that it’s from page 83 of Jack Kornfield’s lovely “Buddha’s Little Instruction Book,” which is not (as the title might erroneously suggest) a collection of quotes from the Buddha but is instead a collection of contemporary sayings on practice, some of which are loosely based on scriptural sources, but which are mostly (as far as I can make out) of Jack’s own devising.
Geri Larkin, in her book “Stumbling Toward Enlightenment,” has an unacknowledged borrowing of the first part of the quote, and has paraphrased the rest:
Imagine that every person in the world is enlightened but you. Everyone is your teacher and they are doing just the right things to motivate you to learn whatever it is you need to know.
This quote can be found, presented as a Buddha quote, in books such as Larry Chang’s “Wisdom for the Soul,” Sylvia Lafair’s “Don’t Bring It to Work,” Angela Paul’s “It’s Hard Being Human,” and, most ironically, in Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat’s “Spiritual Literacy.”
It’s also frequently attributed to the Jesuit priest and psychotherapist, Anthony de Mello, although so far I’ve seen nothing to suggest that that attribution is correct.