Minute 727: Going Places

Some people love to travel, while others abhor the thought of having to get from one place to another. The transition from horse or mule to modern air travel has made travel more comfortable, faster and easier than in days of old. Our Rabbis in ancient times taught that when one comes home from a trip, it is too difficult to concentrate and settle one’s mind enough to stand in prayer and, therefore, one should not pray for three days. That’s a far cry from travel today, when one can span half the globe in less than 24 hours. Yet even today, travel is a trying test of patience.

One may be pressed to arrive on time to meet social or business commitments, yet delays due to weather, equipment malfunction or traffic may cause one to miss the desired arrival time. The massive job of getting many passengers on and off the train or plane doesn’t always go as planned, and one’s patience may wear thin. Other passengers get in the way of efficiency — or so it seems — in a variety of ways.

In order to maintain your composure, you should never forget that everyone is different and no one is exactly like you. Everyone has deficiencies in knowledge, innate talent and experience that may make you feel that they are getting in your way. The reality is that everyone is trying to get from one place to another, and you may be getting in their way as well. Tolerating the uniqueness of everyone else will help you arrive at your destination cool, calm and collected.

One More Second: Another Thought for the Day

“A live dog is better off than a dead lion” (Kohelet 9:4). As our Sages taught, all the while that a person is alive one has the faith and the hope to repent, but once one has died the hope is lost. Therefore, so long as our souls are in us, we should rush to fix our deeds for the better. (Harav Yisrael Salanter, Igeret Hamussar)


 

Rabbi Raymond Beyda serves in the Sephardic Community in Brooklyn, N.Y. He lectures to audiences all over the world. He has distributed over 500,000 recorded lessons free of charge. He is author of the book 1 Minute With Yourself: A Minute a Day to Self-Improvement, Sephardic Press, 2008.