When you’re on the receiving end of brutal honesty, at what time do you start to listen? If only one person has the guts to tell you, should you believe or assume an ulterior motive? How about if that person is your best friend or if a few more people confront you? What if the whole world is trying to tell you? In general, people are stupid. Don’t get me wrong, I consider most of my friends to be very intelligent. Large groups of people though, tend to have a mob mentality. Thought and reason leave because everyone supports the cause whether it is just or not. I believe that if the people who are close to you are part of the group, then there is almost certainly validity to their words. They can see the situation from both an unbiased and biased (not necessarily wrong) view. They must be listened to. If it’s a small group, there still may be an important message. You should at least hear them out. If only one person confronts you, then let the severity of their words and their true character help you decide whether or not to believe.
It isn’t easy to tell someone you care about something that will undoubtedly hurt them, but it must be done. It may cost you some friendships, but your conscience will be free and your heart lighter. You will also have my respect and admiration……… =)
The human quest “to be good” drives virtually everything we do. In order to maximize pleasure in life, we must distinguish between “material good” and “spiritual good.”
The evil one! He could kick his own mother in the stomach and still think he’s good. You say, “That’s terrible! How could you do such a thing?” He rationalizes and says, “You don’t understand. She asked me to take out the garbage. If I do it, who knows what else she’ll ask for next? This could go on forever!”
As for the good person, he takes out the garbage. But if you would then tell him, “I see you’re a good person,” he says, “No, I’m really not so good. Didn’t you notice that while I was taking out the garbage I kicked my mother in the stomach?”
“What are you talking about? I was watching and you didn’t kick your mother in the stomach!”
“Well, I didn’t actually kick her. But I was grumbling as I carried out the garbage. I wanted my mother to feel bad. I was in the middle of a good book, and if I don’t register my protest, who knows — she might ask me to do it again tomorrow!”
Do you see the difference? The evil person will always say he’s right. He doesn’t bother trying to be good, so he never feels a struggle. He just assumes he’s good.
Whereas the person who really tries to be “good” knows how tough the job is. And he’s always striving for a higher level.
There’s a third type: The fully righteous person, the Tzaddik. He takes out the garbage and says, “It’s my pleasure, Mom. You work so hard to take care of us. So thank you for the opportunity to express my appreciation!”