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THREAD #Elul -> Wisdom is free, yet it is also the most expensive thing there is, for we tend acquire it through failure or disappointment or grief. That is why we try to share our wisdom, so that others will not have to pay the price for it that we paid.
So in my threads this week, I want to focus first on some of the things Judaism has taught me about life, and then, about what life has taught me about Judaism. Here is part one (of two) of what Judaism has taught me about life:
Never try to be clever. Always try to be wise.
Respect others even if they disrespect you.
Never seek publicity for what you do. If you deserve it, you will receive it. If you don’t, you will be attacked. Goodness never needs to draw attention to itself.
When you do good to others, it is yourself, your conscience and your self-respect, that will be the beneficiary. The greatest gift of giving is the opportunity to give.
In life, never take shortcuts. There is no success without effort, no achievement without hard work.
Keep your distance from those who seek honour. Be respectful, but none of us is called on to be a looking glass for those in love with themselves.
In everything you do, be mindful that God sees all we do. There is no cheating God. When we try to deceive others, usually the only person we succeed in deceiving is ourself.
Be very slow indeed to judge others. If they are wrong, God will judge them. If we are wrong, God will judge us.
Greater by far than the love we receive is the love we give.
It was once said of a great religious leader, that he was a man who took God so seriously that he never felt the need to take himself seriously at all. That is worth aspiring to.
Use your time well. Life is short, too short to waste on idle gossip, or envying others for what they have, too short for anger and indignation, too short to waste on criticising others. Any day on which you have done some good to someone has not been wasted.
More ideas to come tomorrow...
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