A Good Heart

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“It doesn’t matter what’s going on around you. A good person will rise above it”.  My father had always been a good person, but I had never realized the extent of his wisdom. His words were true. The whole world can be on the wrong path, but if you are strong enough, you can rise above it. 

Today in my University lecture, Professor Steven Katz was talking about those who rescued Jews from the Nazis during world War II.  His ultimate message was that their background didn’t matter, what mattered was their character. If you have good character, you’re going to do the right thing.

In the second chapter of Pirkei Avot, Rabban Yochanan ben Zakkai says  “Go and see which is the good a man shall cherish most.  Rabbi Eliezer said, a good eye.  Rabbi Joshua said, a good companion. Rabbi Yosi said, a good neighbor. Rabbi Shimon said, foresight. Rabbi Elazar said, a good heart. He said to them: I prefer the words of Elazar ben Arach to your words, for in his words yours are included”

Character is a  quality that can move mountains.  It can cause a person to rise above a negative situation or to fall below what is right.  As we leave Channukah behind this year, a holiday devoted to standing up for what is right, we should all invest ourselves in building beyond our resumes and becoming people that we would be proud of. We should stand up for what we believe in, build on what makes us good people, and finally, do the right thing.  

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Letter to the People I Love

we are all architects of our own world; we are the kings of our Kingdom. To the extent that you grasp this in your heart, you will be able to not only understand life, but take control over it, and thus achieve your true desires. 
-Kabbalah

“Letting go doesn’t mean that you don’t care about someone anymore. It’s just realizing that the only person you really have control over is yourself.” 
― Deborah Reber

 

It is the curse of the good hearted to want to change the world, and the good hearted exist in this group. While this is a blessing when we are accomplishing our goals and bettering humanity, this way of being is a burden when we realize that we do not have the power to control others.
I had to learn this the hard way, and I hope that you all can use my words and apply them to the current situation affecting our posse.

You can not control anyone else. The only person you can truly control in your life is you. 
-Marci Fried

When a very close friend of mine was going through a dark time in her life, these words kept me centered. Before I realized the truth in them, I spent countless hours worrying and countless hours trying to convince her to be happy. My words had little effect. I realized that although I could not change my peer in the way I wanted to, being able to keep centered and control myself was the one way that I could give her the support that she needed at the time.

Regardless of what we think of anyone’s decision, we can not feel guilt of the outcome. You-we- will inevitably feel pangs of guilt. I know this because you are all caring people. You all have so much love in your hearts and it is impossible to avoid pain when you have been blessed with a soul that feels the pain of others.

But this pain should not be from guilt. You have no control over other’s decisions. Nothing you could have done would have changed anything. All that you could have done was exactly what you were doing-to let your friends know that you supported them and loved them and cared about them. Letting others know that you care about them is the one way to help someone that you can otherwise not control.

As I am saying this, I know that I can not control the pain that you all feel-I know this because I struggle to control the pain in my heart I feel from his leaving. But the best thing that you can do for yourself, for your friend, and for the universe is to keep centered, keep positive, and show the people around you that you love them and are there for them, in whatever way that you can express it.

I love you all. More than you will ever know.
Lindsey