Rabbi Yossi's Blog

Welcome to Rabbi Yossi's Blog; where you can expect to find thoughts on current events, Torah learning and Jewish spirituality. And of course, some good Jewish humor.

It's Not About You

Bench under tree1.jpg Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Whether it’s nature or nurture, we tend to consider everything from the standpoint of our personal benefit. We engage in activities that make us feel good and refrain from things that don’t. Whether it’s simply physically pleasurable experiences or experiences that make us feel good from a moral standpoint, it’s all about what makes us feel good.

The issue is that if our barometer of right and wrong is based on our personal experience, we are obviously going to be extremely biased in our assessment. We cannot be honest arbiters if we have so much at stake.

Does that mean that we have to live a repressed life? Never feeling satisfaction and enjoyment from life? Constantly looking to avoid any personal benefit? That certainly doesn’t sound very attractive.

The truth is that our deepest satisfaction in life, our truest expression of self and our most profound connection to G-d, all hinge on abandoning this modern day measurement of value. We can never achieve true satisfaction when we focus on ourselves and our “feeling good” as the determining factor in our lives.

Life is not about what we need, it’s about what we are needed for. 

When our life is focused on our responsibility - to G-d and to others - rather than on ourselves, we are living up to our purpose of being and we can be honest about determining right from wrong. The ironic thing is that when we do focus on what we’re needed for, we actually gain personal satisfaction too.


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