Every person has unique talents, skills, knowledge, and resources.
Utilize these to help others in ways that are uniquely yours. Learn from the kind deeds of other people, but don’t compare yourself with anyone else. Others will be able to do things that you can’t. And only you will be able to do certain things.
-from Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s book “Kindness.”
Screenshot of a video on twitter showing a young woman grabbing and destroying signs made by a conservative students group.
It occurs to me that there is a certain inconsistency in promoting kindness and then, at least to some, coming off as politically snarky. Okay, it wasn’t my intent, but I can see how some folks might take it that way.
Today’s the day when the full Senate votes on whether or not to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Frankly, I don’t think either the Republicans or Democrats come away from this clean, and the result, as I said yesterday, is that American politics has officially become a denizen of the foulest sewer, like a mythical alligator.
As I also previously stated, no matter which way the vote goes, we all lose. Oh sure, some people will feel like they’ve won, but look what had to happen to achieve “victory.” Each side accused the other of some pretty vile political tricks, not to mention what ordinary people said and did. Both sides tried to destroy a human being. Both Kavanaugh’s and Ford’s reputations were dragged through the fecal matter, along with their families and anyone who might corroborate their stories, and even children were plagued with death threats.
Anyone who has ever been sexually assaulted or had a family member assaulted in such a manner absolutely projects all of their emotions onto Kavanaugh, as if confirming him to SCOTUS is tacit approval of all sexual crimes, and a total discounting of all victims everywhere.
A person who has a love for money will constantly look for ways to obtain more money. So, too, when you develop a love for doing acts of kindness, you will look for every possible opportunity to do so. Even though someone else might be able to do the kindness instead, you will feel a strong desire to do it yourself. Rather than looking for ways to free yourself from doing acts of kindness, you realize that you personally gain from helping others.
Today, try doing a kindness for someone even when they do not ask for your help. Be motivated because of an inner drive.
Sources: see Rabbi Yechezkail Levenstein – Ohr Yechezkail, Midos, pp.105, 174-5; Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s “Consulting the Wise”
There are minor acts of kindness and major acts of kindness. Every kind deed and word is precious and valuable. Every kind deed and word is eternal.
And when your actions and words have a positive lifetime effect on someone, you have created something magnificent — whether or not the extent of its greatness is recognized by any other mortal.
-from Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s book “Kindness”
The less gratitude you receive for doing a kind act, the greater the value of the act. True kindness is when we do not receive anything in return for what we do.
Instead of feeling resentment towards the person who is ungrateful, take pleasure in doing a more elevated good deed. Focus on how your kindness towards that person is more altruistic.
Don’t tell yourself, “How awful it is that I’m doing all this kindness and this person is not doing me favors in return.” Rather, tell yourself, “This is a great opportunity to do a true act of kindness!”
Sources: see Genesis 47:29 with Rashi; Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s “Gateway to Happiness,” p.106
The Torah gives us an important rule in relationships: Even though you are suffering, you have no right to cause suffering to others. Whatever your distress, you still need to speak and act with respect. If you are ever in a bad mood, be especially careful not to speak or act to others in a way that will be distressful for them.
Sources: see Rabbi Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler – Michtav MaiEliyahu, vol.4, 246; Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s “Consulting the Wise”
This definitely has applications in the blogosphere and social media in general, but I’m not sure what the result would be. I suspect each group would interpret it to mean “listen to me and anyone who disagrees with me should shut up,” but that’s just a guess. Oops. I think this means I may not have taken the Rabbi’s advice to heart.
When you identify yourself as a person who loves kindness, you will notice opportunities you hadn’t noticed before. You will always feel that it’s up to you to do as much good as you can in your life.
-from Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s book Kindness.