Minute 793: Share the Moment

Minute 793: Share the Moment

“You won’t believe this!” Shlomo crowed. “I just got my test score and I got a 96! Can you believe it? Isn’t that awesome?”

“You’re right. I can’t believe it,” Chezky agreed.

In his elation, Shlomo assumed that Chezky was as happy as he was about his achievement. “Let’s go to the ice cream parlor!” he offered. “I’ll treat you to a double sundae with all the toppings.”

“I guess after the last two tests you should celebrate this miracle,” Chezky said snarkily. “Who knows how long this will last?”

The sharp comment hurt, making Shlomo’s joy short-lived. His attempt to share his success was deflated by a comment that qualifies as onaat devarim, hurtful speech. His “friend” was incapable of sharing the moment and so he spoiled it instead.

Life is a series of tests. Sometimes one succeeds and at other times one fails. To most, the victories seem few and far between. Maybe that’s the reason one who has a good day looks to share it with others. Unfortunately, one who does so may subject himself to a verbal jab that immediately deflates the elation.

The listener may be jealous or may feel his own shortcomings when hearing about another’s accomplishment. A quick barb works to soothe his ego, yet causes pain to the briefly happy person who tried to share his excitement.

Someone who is self-confident or just has a good heart and likes to see others succeed will overcome personal weakness and deliver a compliment rather than a verbal blow. It may take some practice, but we should all learn to share happiness even if it’s not our own.

One More Second: Another Thought for the Day

The type of joy that is a mitzvah is the joy you share with those less fortunate such as orphans and widows, those without family, and the poor. If, however, someone closes his door to others and only utilizes what he has for his own benefit without helping the poor and unfortunate, his joy is not the joy of mitzvah but instead joy of the stomach. Such joy is a badge of shame. (Rambam, Hilchot Yom Tov, 6:18)


 

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.