You Might Be What You Complain About: Weekly SparkNov 9th, 2012 | By Henry
“Here,” I said as I offered one of my older kids a brownie. The two of us were left in the kitchen and he had helped out in an extraordinary way.
“It’s my pleasure to give you more privileges when you take extra responsibility. But let it be our secret; I don’t want the others to feel bad.”
The next morning I heard slightly edgy banter between the kids as they bounded down the stairs.
“Tatty, can I tell them? Can I tell them what you gave me? Huh? Huh?” said the brownie recipient.
Later on I asked, “What happened? Why did you reveal the secret?” I was frustrated.
“They were bothering me and I wanted to distract them so I knew that if I could bother them, they would stop,” he explained.
I paused to consider the right spiritual/psychological lesson to apply to his flawed behavior.
“Sweetie, I gave you that brownie because you acted like an adult. And one of the things adults do,” I intoned, ”is they don’t get upset just because the kids say something.”
He paused for a split second and said, “But Tatty, you do.”
Ouch. How can I expect the people nearest me to act and be more than what I do?
I was reminded of several significant Jewish teachings:
1) Good character is transmitted like a virus: not through words but from what’s inside you.
2) Be careful what you complain about: it’s often G-d shining a mirror in your face.
PS: This Tuesday night is the Aish Center Gala, featuring wonderful honorees, the comedy of Modi, and music by Peter Himmelman. Please contact me about available tickets!