Minute #617: Boxing Gloves

The two boys laced up their boxing gloves and stepped onto the exercise mats in the center of the room.

“I never realized how heavy the gloves are,” commented Scott.

“The power of the punch is increased by the weight of the gloves,” the trainer explained.

When the trainer blew his whistle, the amateur boxers began maneuvering for a position that would enable each to successfully hit his opponent. Scott threw a punch that knocked Joey backwards a foot or two. Before the victim could recover, Scott quickly hit again and Joey fell to the mat. The “victor” assumed Joey was not getting up and coming back for more. He unlaced his gloves and tossed them over his shoulder onto the mats.

Joey, who had recovered from his blows, jumped up and stomped on Scott’s gloves. “See, you didn’t win. I got you back! I got you back!” he screamed repeatedly.

The trainer and the victor were befuddled by this strange behavior. Why was Joey attacking the gloves?

This incident never happened. The story isn’t true. The lesson, however, is. The gloves didn’t hurt the loser — Hashem used the victor to inflict a measured amount of discipline on the loser. If the victim wanted revenge, he should have looked past the gloves to the boy who wore them.

In the real world, we must see past those that harm us to Hashem who is inflicting the “punishment.” We must realize that He does it to awaken us to repentance. It’s a necessary form of discipline that the victim shouldn’t fight but, instead, learn from. When one sees past the “glove” to the One “wearing” it, introspection and acceptance should lead to correction of a personal flaw.

One More Second: Another Thought for the Day

After Avraham successfully endured his ten major life challenges, Hashem assured him that he would not be put through any additional challenges. Upon hearing that, Avraham assumed that his life must be coming to an end! For with no opportunity to meet challenges and prove his commitment to Hashem — what purpose could there be to be alive? (Yaakov Shain / Avi Fishoff, GPS, Navigation for Your Soul, p. 243)