Minute #586: Distributor

The grand prize was something everyone would want but only one person could win.

“The winner is Goldie Millstein!” the master of ceremonies announced. Goldie was overtaken by surprise and joy as her friends surrounded her with congratulatory words and hugs. The scene was one of universal joy — or so it seemed.

“Goldie is so nice and she does so much for everyone, but I really need that prize much more than she does,” Shaindy Miller thought to herself. “It seems like the people who have it all always win, and the little people never do.”

The Sages teach that ayin tovah — a good eye — is the most desirable trait a human being could have (Avot 2:12). Some mistakenly understand that to mean one should see things in a favorable light. However, the true meaning is to perceive everything as good, even if you feel it’s not good for you. The true test of your “eye” is how you react to the success of another.

If another individual acquires something that you would really like to have, the base instinct of jealousy is aroused. Questions of “Why him? Why her?” cross your mind. Comments that degrade the achievement are used as a vehicle to massage a “self” which believes that something good for another is a loss to “me.” In reality, Hashem can give to everyone, and what He gives one doesn’t detract from anyone else’s portion.

A good eye allows you to feel true happiness when another succeeds, as if you yourself were successful. It’s hard to do. It takes practice. It’s the most admirable trait, so work on it. Trust that Hashem knows how to distribute.

One More Second: Another Thought for the Day

Every Jew must know deep in his heart that he is as precious to G-d as if he were an only child. Each person must declare, “The entire world was created only for me,” for G-d made the perfection of the entire universe dependent upon the souls of the Jewish People. Each individual is at the center of countless, interconnected, spiritual worlds. Thus, it is as though he alone exists, for no one can repair those aspects of creation unique to him. (Rabbi Yaakov Meir Shechter, In All Your Ways, p. 118)