Develop yourself to the best of your ability
Ben Zoma used to say, “A good guest says,” How hard my host toiled for me! He put down so much meat for me, so much wine, so much bread – all his effort was just for me!” A bad guest says: “What has my host toiled for me? I ate only one sandwich, only one piece of meat, I drank only one glass – all his effort was for his own household!”
Hakarat ha’tov is the Hebrew term for Gratitude. Literally, it means “to recognise the good”.
True gratitude consists of learning to see, learning to recognise that there are always good things to be grateful for.
We should not emphasise that which is not good, but be grateful for that which is good.
A person who is blind may feel too downtrodden to see anything, but at the same time he may have excellent keen hearing which enables him, for example, to listen to and create the most beautiful pieces of music. Sharp hearing is then what a person should be grateful for.
We often have a tendency to emphasise what is not going well, we have to learn to emphasise what is going well, and if there are things we want to improve we do not emphasise what is not going well, but recognise that it is not YET going well….we have to learn to turn a static situation into a dynamic one.
A next step in Hakarat ha’tov is that we learn to recognise that everything we get comes from HaShem’s hands and thus everything is ultimately good. This gratitude for even the covered good is difficult, but it is worth practising yourself in this.
And if you don’t YET succeed today, you will succeed tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow.
By Angelique Sijbolts
Sources: Gemara Berachot 17a, Sefer Shemirat HaLashon
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