Tuesday, June 06, 2006
I usually don’t wander through the streets that late but what can you do if up until 11 PM you didn’t get a chance to pray Maariv? That’s when I encountered Mr. Bohohoo
He looked grim and discontent.
I didn’t want to go down that road but nevertheless I asked what was wrong?
He shared the heartbreaking news that the expensive new piece of furniture he had ordered over a months ago cold not be delivered before Shabbes
Besides his patience not being rewarded with the ordered goods, this news was very disconcerting to him since he had out of town guests for Shabbes and was looking forward to have it (i.e. show it off) before their arrival.
With upsetting news of this magnitude I couldn’t help but inwardly roll my eyes, put on my sweetest soothing smile and gently told him there were worse things in the world.
I bid him goodbye and a murmured a sarcastically charged ‘good luck’.
Two whole weeks hadn’t passed and I got a phone call from a friend who was going through some hard times. I agreed to meet with him to talk about it all.
Immediately I had a déjà-vu when seeing his pained expression.
And then it hit me.
Discomfort, unpleasantness, and pain are sensations.
If you feel distressed, sadness or pain, than this is what you feel.
The underlying cause is of little importance once your body has translated it into physical and emotional sensations.
When someone experiences distress for little things, for stupidities for narishkeiten in heimische Yiddish or when someone experiences distress and pain caused by more serious factors, what they feel is the same.
True, serious problems tend to be intense and coupled with worry etc…
But if person A is very sad about the loss of his prized chosson watch and person B feel tears trickling down after he just learned his son went of the derech, then in the end they both feel sad, despondent, helpless etc…
And if Mr. Bohohoo has the luxury to feel distress due to a late delivery, than his state of feeling distressed has to be acknowledged.
He deserves a word or two of comfort, not a condescending look and sarcastic mouthful.
“I wish I had his problems” people are wont to say.
That may be true, but you would not want to feel the way someone who’s been healthy all his life feels when his little finger hurts…
However, when one puts life and what is ailing him/her into a proper perspective, and looks from a place of gratitude, often we can see that what we feel so miserable about is not such a big deal afterall.
You seem to be a good friend to others. Blessings.
The end of your post reminds me of the famous story with the man that G-d allows him to trade in his bag of tzaros.
We all have our own tzaros and Hashem gives each of us the strengh to deal with our own issues.
Prag, I always knew you're a better man than I am.
I’m afraid though that many people have not learned that yet.
TOWIK-Thanks, I see it lacking around me and I thought it was not right.
Socialworker- It’s crazy that some people will feel sadness because for e.g. their new hat doesn’t match their jacket.
The lesson is to nevertheless accept the fact that, regardless of how ridiculous, they actually feel hurt.
A frum idealist -Perfect addition and example
Kasamba- I don’t think I am, if you read carefully I sort of mocked the guy. I just regretted this later.
I have always said that when ppl say to me,"look at so-and-so, his tzoros are so much worse blah blah blah..." it doesn't help. I hurt. Period. And I really don't care if one hundred or a thousand or a million people have expirienced the same and survived or if they have had worse.
I am in pain.
David- Great summarizing of my point.
Ex Sem- I agree, pain has a right to be acknowledged without nay comparisons to someone else’s.
Social worker-Well if you get paid to do it…:)
But essentially if you realize that you're lucky not to have problems that other's have rather than think what they have that you don’t (a fancy car for e.g.) then you have a healthy attitude to life.
Thanks, Prag, for bringing this important lesson to us.
side thing, its actually a gift from hashem to be able to be concerned with the 'stupid' things in life immediately after going through a difficult period, and not to forever be thinking "well, if my friend just passed away, how can i care if my food is too salty?"
and anon, its kinda immature to say 'all or none'. not much in life is meant to be black n white.
The Sabra- Great example indeed.
Having the problem children have is a nice wish, feeling the way they do when they are sad is isn’t.
And you’re so right that it’s a Brachah that we can care about little things, if not the really heavy stuff might never leave our minds.
Social- That’s a great gigt.
So its ok to compare our lives against someones miseries/tradgedies but not with envy and wishes??
So it turns out you compare for envy and for luck against a sinsgle person.
So it's ok to compare if you must, but not to feel envious, cause as a true believer you believe H'Ashem gives you all you need in life to complete your 'mission'.
A good word and a smile always work.
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