Develop yourself to the best of your ability
Mindful Choices and Elevated Values
“Those seeking mastery over their Yezer should declare, ‘Come, let us take stock of our spiritual life; let us weigh the loss incurred by the performance of a Mitzvah against its gain, and the gain of a transgression against its loss.”
There are days when you decide to quickly run errands, rushing into the supermarket. You spot tempting items, throw them into your basket, and before you know it, you’re back home. Upon closer inspection, you realize you’ve purchased things you didn’t really need, enticed by their allure in the store. Sometimes, you find items nearing their expiration date, and you vow to navigate the supermarket more attentively next time, perhaps armed with a list to buy items that truly enrich your life.
Likewise, our behavior follows a similar pattern. At times, we act hastily without much thought, throwing something into our metaphorical shopping cart of actions. Later, upon reflection, we realize the behavior was unnecessary, and there could have been a better alternative. We discover that what we’ve “purchased” costs us more than it ultimately yields—a behavior that offers no real value. Perhaps, we even realize we’ve acquired something we don’t truly want because it’s unhealthy for us.
Any behavior not connected to G-d or benevolent actions toward others is akin to a misguided purchase in the supermarket. It’s a realization that, much like those impulsive supermarket buys, our actions might bring temporary satisfaction but lack enduring value. So, just as we strive for mindful shopping, let us also aspire to be more intentional in our actions, ensuring they align with G-d’s guidance and contribute positively to the world around us.”
1. Conscious Self-Reflection:
Reflect consciously on your behavior, just as you carefully select your groceries. Avoid impulsive actions and strive for deeds that add value to your life.
2. Connection to Higher Values:
Let your behavior resonate with divine values and kindness towards others. Compare behavior not aligned with this to an ill-advised purchase; aim for actions that reflect deeper values for a meaningful life.
By Angelique Sijbolts
Mesillat Yesharim by Moses Hayyim Luzzatto – Introduction and Commentary by Ira. F. Stone, Translation and Orignial Introduction by Mordechai M. Kaplan
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