Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Whom Can You Trust?

Are People Self Sufficient?

Every person is needy, whether we like to admit it or not. Children need their parents for almost everything. In a different way, parents need their children [speak to parents who rachmana li-tzlan lost a child or are even estranged from a child]. A wife needs her husband [for money, companionship etc. etc.], a husband needs his wife [taking care of the children, preparing his food, fulfilling other wifely duties that without her he could never have etc. etc.]. We need a pilot to fly us to where we want or need to go. We need the cleaners, clothing manufacturers, shoemakers, plumbers, doctors [we should never need], accountants and so many other people. No man is an island [and no island is a man:-)]. 

A sobering thought - We are really needy 24 hours seven days a week for G-d's graces. Any part of anyone's body can shut down at any moment of any day. He could lose his vision, hearing, ability to swallow or digest food, respiratory capacity etc. etc. Some scientists estimated that the human body contains 37.2 TRILLION CELLS. One cancerous one and the person is done. We have to have the right amount of red blood cells - or else....  The average amount in the male is 4.32 trillion until 5.72 trillion cells per liter of blood. For a woman - 3.90 trillion until 5.03 trillion cells per liter. [מה רבו מעשיך השם!!] If anything in the body goes awry we are in big trouble. We constantly need food, oxygen, to relieve ourselves, etc. etc. We are actually quite pathetic if you think about it. 

A scary thought and a comforting thought: 

The Scary Thought

We are all needy of other people but they are thinking nothing or almost nothing of us on a daily basis. How often are you thinking about the needs of any one person beside yourself and maybe your closest relatives? Well, that is how much everybody else is thinking about you... Nobody gets up in the morning and thinks that you might be hungry and silently hopes that you eat a good breakfast. You eat because you are intimately aware and connected to your own needs but NOBODY else is [except maybe your mother]. 

The more I live, the more I am astounded by how focused people are on meeting their own needs and how little other people's needs and distress touch a deep place in the heart. Losing one's car keys or being late for an important business appointment [or even the loss of a "big game" by their favorite team] is more distressing for many than hearing that someone became sick with cancer or that a single girl is 37 and is feeling terribly lonely for years. We hear of things and as fast as they go in one ear - they go out the other. 

It is VERY rare to find a person who is elevated on a constant basis above his own needs and is focused on fulfilling the needs of others [unless he is being paid to do so - but then again, it is about him and not the other person]. I even know many parents whose attitude towards their adult children is "you're on your own. I am done with helping you", even when the parents are able and the child is doing his best to be independent but just not making it. There are also many children who basically send their parents off when they reach old age and don't want to be bothered by them. There are many instances of spouses who can't get past their own needs even when their partner is suffering because of them. To say this is sad is an understatement similar to "it can get a bit chilly in Antarctica". Fortunate is the person who has people who love and care for him as they do for themselves. Having one such person in one's life is a great success. More than one is beyond amazing. The more - the better. And if you are that person for others then consider yourself extremely fortunate [even if the feelings and care are not mutual]. 

It is scary to live in a world where one realizes that he is very much alone.    

The Comforting Thought:

The one Being who thinks about you all day every day and has the capacity to provide with every one of your needs - both physical and emotional, and also WANTS to provide you with all of your needs, is Hashem. If it were anybody else then it would be inadequate because my mother [for example] can't help me breathe [for example]. Hashem can give me EVERYTHING I need and want. 

That is comforting. Then one is no longer alone in a scary world but feels the embrace and love of an All Powerful, All Loving Being. He doesn't forget you for ONE SECOND - ever. If he did, you would cease to exist. If you are here it is because He hasn't taken His mind off you EVER. 

So instead of counting on others - count on him. Others will let you down. So many people are friendly until that critical moment that you need them. I could write volumes about people who magically disappeared at the times of need of others.

The Megilla says that Esther was נושאת חן בעיני רואיה - She had special charm and everyone liked her. The same pasuk says לא ביקשה דבר - She asked for nothing. Rav Avraham Genechovski explained to to find favor in the eyes of others is to ask for nothing. The moment one asks, he becomes persona non-grata [Latin for "an annoying cockroach"]. But Hashem [כביכול] LOVES when we need Him and ask Him for things. So don't hesitate. 

Dovid Hamelech said  אם אסק שמים שם אתה ואציעה שאול הנך - If I go to the heavens you are there, when I go to the grave you are there. Hashem is with us everywhere. 

Some explain: אם אסק שמים - When I am doing great, I shouldn't get to haughty or arrogant - שם אתה, you are there and it is all your doing. I am just a כלי. 

ואציעה שאול - When I am down and miserable, הנך - I shouldn't get down because you are right there with me.   

Sweet friends!! May we all walk in the ways of Hashem by thinking constantly of others. May we never get down or depressed because we realize that our Loving Father is with us every step of the way, giving us challenges and helping us overcome them. May we not put our faith in man - אל תבטחו בנדיבים בבן אדם שאין לו תשועה but in Hashem and in the Tzadikim who are aligned with His will.