What I think about when I’m feeling down…

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The picture to the left will be explained soon…

First, this posting is really an expansion of something I wrote here about things not working out the way you want them to. I’m, B”H, in a great mood. But, I’ll be honest, there are times when I’m not. This happens to all of us at one time or another. It’s sad, but true. Sadness, or atzvus, at times gets the best of us. We fall into a funk, or get depressed. That’s the worst. Rabbi Akiva Tatz once defined depression as “the despair of falling into an inability to act.”

To fall into the pit of thinking that we have no choices left is a terrible yeter hara. In a way, it’s the opposite of having free will. The truth is we can control how we choose to react to any given situation. It’s just, sometimes, we forget the we have a choice. Of the road in front of us seems too long and dark.

When I do feel down, I look that the picture that you see on your screen. I did the design and layout several years ago. I keep a framed copy of this picture on the bookshelf. Most people don’t look at it twice. Occasionally, a curious guest will ask me about it. It’s actually based on something I heard during my high school years, said in the name of Rav Yitzchok Hutner z”tl.

Rav Hutner, based on the Maharal, took a look at the words “adam” meaning man and “meod” mean very or more. Rav Hutner explains that after man was created on the sixth day, it says in Beraishis 1:31: And God saw all that He had made, and behold it was very good, and it was evening and it was morning, the sixth day.
Not just “good” but “very good.” The word “meod” seem to imply that something is beyond measurement. For example, most cars can only go to a predetermined top speed. The size of a house is based on the number of square feet in a lot and also how much money one uses to build the house. A computer is capable of holding only have so much memory (although that seems to change every other week). Rav Hutner said that people are not like this. We can grow beyond what we even imagine. When it comes to a person, our potential for greatness is limitless. It’s “meod“.
When I’m feeling down this is what I think about. My potential is beyond measurement. I just need to push myself.
Once, while taking the subway to Brooklyn on an erev Shabbos I stood in front of someone wearing a T-shirt made by “Champion” (the company is really know for their sweatshirts). The back of the T-Shirt had the following printed on it: IT TAKES A LITTLE MORE EFFORT TO MAKE A CHAMPION. What mussar!!! I think of this T-shirt at times, as well.

Music also cheers me up. Especially the Moshe Skier Band’s treatment on the classic Hafachta.
Speaking of Jewish music, blogger buddy, A SIMPLE JEW, had a great posting up yesterday. Take a few minutes and check it out, here.
Have a happy day and a great Shabbos Kodesh!!

10 thoughts on “What I think about when I’m feeling down…

  1. Bob Miller

    Neil, is your artwork available as a poster? I bet you could get Rosenblum’s and others to sell it.

    If you’d rather not become rich and famous, you could donate the design to a worthy cause.

    Reply
  2. Lvnsm27

    Great design and message. That’s what a lot of people need to understand. We have the choice to grow in many different ways and we should take that oppertunity. Thanks

    Reply
  3. Rafi G

    great post. That thought could definitely cheep a person up who is in despair, unless he is so mired in his despair that he thinks of that and says it is all just bunk and not true.. But I think the average despair could be fixed by it….

    Reply
  4. Neil Harris

    Mimi-Thanks for stopping by

    ASJ-You wrote an awesome posting, how could I NOT link it?

    Frumgirl-To inspire is easy, to stay inspired is the hard part

    SW/FM-Thanks, the real art was the Champion T-shirt

    Bob-Quality JPGs will be available for Chanukah, and maybe even a product line from cafepress.com, if I can get my act together.

    lvnsm-Sound like you got the message loud and clear

    Prag-Taking action is a good thing. I usually spend way to much time THINKING about taking action.

    Rafi G- Ah, you also use ‘bunk”, nice!!
    Reb Nachman said that if you believe you can damage, then believe you can fix!

    Reply

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