By: Rabbi Shlomo Ezagui
There is a story about a little wave, bobbing along in the ocean, having a grand old time. He’s enjoying the wind and the fresh air – until he notices the other waves in front of him, crashing against the shore. “My G-d, this is terrible,” the wave says. “Look what’s going to happen to me!”
Then along comes another wave. It sees the first wave, looking grim, and it says to him: “Why do you look so sad?” The first wave says: “You don’t understand! We’re all going to crash! All of us waves are going to be nothing! Isn’t it terrible?”
The second wave says: “No, you don’t understand. You’re not a wave; you’re part of the ocean.”
A wave who can only see his existence by his own immediate surroundings, his own personal life, and fails to recognize and notice a greater picture, lives a very frightening existence. There are inevitable crashes in life, there is risk all the time, and this myopic perspective brings much fear. A person who holds on to their identity and individuality as the only means for defining their reality, and way of life, will have every reason to be insecure and afraid that they stand to lose something or worse yet everything, by being vulnerable, giving, and one with others. For them, life is an eternal rat race, and a dog eat dog world.
In truth, we are all part of one destiny, all in the same boat, doing different necessary jobs and tasks to bring the world to fulfill its G-dly intended purpose. We are all created in G-ds image, His messengers, to bring about, “to repair – to perfect, the world, under the sovereignty of G-d.”
A person, who has a humble spirit, recognizes, no man is an island unto himself, it’s not just about one wave, it’s about a whole ocean. We are all, part of this collective purpose, why G-d created the world. This person, will have more understanding and empathy for others. This person, will be appreciative of others, will be able to better tolerate others, will consider other peoples point of view a lot more, and won’t feel slighted as often, by others.
Once, there were two passengers sitting side by side on their little boat. All of a sudden one notices the other, drilling a whole under his sit. Horrified, the other fellow said, “What are you doing, making a hole in the boat?” The other fellow answered, “It’s none of your business. I paid for my seat. I do what I want; you mind your own business.” The other fellow responds, “I don’t care that you paid for your seat, the boat you are drilling a hole into, is rented to both of us.”
Some people unfortunately see the whole world and all of life, revolving around them. It’s all about me, I. In conversation, they always need to be the center of attraction and need to be right. At work, they feel many times like everyone are starting up with them, or they are always given the raw end of the deal. Sometimes they are over achievers to get the attention and in the process, hurt themselves. Sometimes, they are the superior, always waiting to be agreed with, and flattered.
For a person’s own wellbeing, it helps recognizing the truth. We are all on the same boat. There is much more power in many, working in harmony, than each one working in dissonance and discord. When you crash on the shores as, an individual, you are a goner. However when you always recognized, you were part of an ocean in addition to being your own wave, then when you crash, you are not lost. You are absorbed back into the greater picture, only to be supported and develop into even a greater wave, the next time around.
The above, is the difference between a humble individual, and an arrogant, ego filled, self centered individual.
To read more articles from Rabbi Ezagui visit him at http://koshercaffeine.blogspot.com