Minute #482: What a Day!

“What’s the matter, Simcha?”  Uri asked. “You look so disturbed. Are you feeling all right?”

“I know everything is for the best and maybe I should call it a ‘not so good’ day, but from my puny human perspective I am having a ‘bad’ day,” Simcha replied morosely. “I’m getting hit from all sides.”

“I know it sounds philosophical, but it’s not good to let external circumstances get you down,” Uri said.

“I understand what you’re saying, but I can’t control my mood. What’s a person to do?” Simcha asked.

“I have a system that works for me,” his concerned friend offered. “I dive into the problems I can solve or projects I must complete. Not only do I make my day productive, but I soften the effect of the other things on my psyche.”

Today’s environment is fast paced and complex. People are bombarded with news that involves health, finances and the wellbeing of family members, and friends. So much of the news is about happy occasions, but too much, it seems, is cause for concern. The sensitive listener can become depressed or stressed to the point where the daily necessary functions of life are impacted negatively. Insulation is impossible — but there is a solution.

If one is involved in something that is necessary or important enough to demand concentration, the disturbing matters can be put aside, at least temporarily. First decide whether you can control what is happening. Then put aside all the things that you cannot change; focus on what you can. While working hard on “good,” you can forget the “not so good.”

One More Second: Another Thought for the Day

The correct path is moderation in all character traits. As regards anger: Do not be hot-tempered and easy to anger, nor like a corpse without feelings. Rather, show anger only over important matters in order to prevent others from behaving wrongly on future occasions. (Rambam, Hilchot Dei’ot, 1:4)

Even when you have a practical, constructive reason for getting angry, only appear as if you are angry, but inwardly remain calm. (Ibid. 2:3)