Minute 808: Old Photos

Rachel was an “older single” suffering from self-doubt and low self-esteem. After all, she wondered, “How many shidduch meetings with different boys can a young lady experience without finding her perfect mate?”  She was sitting on the couch, brooding and staring off into space, when her mom walked in and knew that the situation was taking its toll on her dear daughter.

“What’s doing?” Mom asked.

“I don’t know what’s going to be, Mom,” Rachel said. “It seems like there’s only one perfect man on earth — and you married him.”

“There aren’t many like your dad,” Mom agreed. “But I don’t think you realize that he wasn’t always the accomplished individual we share today.”

Mom walked to a storage closet and, after rummaging through a few boxes, returned with a dusty bag of loose photographs. She sat down next to her daughter and pulled out a few pictures.

“Look at the young man in this one,” she said. “Would you believe I’d ever marry a man like that?”

“No way!” Rachel exclaimed. “Look how he’s dressed!”

“Well, my dear, that’s your father,” Mom said. “I saw great possibilities and overlooked his clothing. The results of that decision are the incredible things Dad has accomplished!”

Too many young people can only see others as they are at present. They neglect the indisputable fact that people mature over time. Marriage and parenthood are powerful catalysts for spiritual and material advancement. A person seeking a mate should be looking at potential, not for perfection. Judgments made with insufficient evidence lead to errors that can cause one to miss marriage with one’s bashert (perfect mate). Looking for undeveloped qualities that can make a good spouse and parent is the key. No one looks the same in a photograph taken when mature as s/he does in an old photo!

One More Second: Another Thought for the Day

…complete the sentence, “I can’t wait for the day when…” Your completed sentence speaks volumes about your priorities in life. Of course, that sentence can, and perhaps should, change frequently throughout your life. But when you know what it is you are waiting for, it helps you attain it more quickly and more completely. (Rabbi Yaakov Salomon, Something to Think About, p. 92)