Minute #629: Big Stuff

Some people are sticklers for detail. Their life is filled with hours and hours of thought and effort devoted to insuring that even the smallest detail is perfect. Others rush and multi-task to get as much done as possible, ignoring small details while giving priority only to the big picture. Neither approach will yield maximum success.

A small part that malfunctions in a huge jetliner can be disastrous. Care and attention to the little things makes up a beautiful “big” picture. When one ignores the small things, one is wont to hurt another with a comment that seems too insignificant to matter but which can be a life changer for someone else. A well-placed compliment can motivate another to succeed while an insensitive derogatory statement can harm another forever.

On the other hand, getting bogged down with details and spending too much time on them can hold one back from moving forward and accomplishing a desired goal. If one has difficulty understanding a small point in a page of Talmud, one may get discouraged and lose one’s taste for learning. After reasonable effort has been expended, one should note the difficulty and move on in the hope of getting an answer someday in the future.

One must learn not to get bogged down by the insignificant things which one encounters in life. The externals may be annoying, but not crucial. Getting past what others throw at you and moving on is vital.

A good, general rule to follow is: “The small stuff others throw at me, if ignored, won’t become big stuff. My small stuff, on the other hand, is important to attend to because one day it could add up to something big.”

One More Second: Another Thought for the Day

Torah is Klal Yisrael’s advantage over the nations of the world. Without Torah, there is nothing! Torah is the only true pleasure, both in Olam Hazeh and in Olam Haba! Again, in this world, and in the World to Come! (Rabbi Moshe Aharon Stern, From a Pure Fire, pp. 54–5)