Thursday, 19 January 2012

Dov's "Decent" Day

by Dov (See all authors)

For me, having "a decent day" means that I was useful to whoever I could be useful to.

That list includes:

Hashem (by noticing Him, using Him, and caring about what He says),
Ourselves (by staying sober and avoiding the tortures of lust, self-pity, resentment and other stupid but quite natural crapola),
Our spouse (or spous es, if you are Muslim or Mormon :-),
Our children (if you got 'em),
The people we work for (by doing our jobs to help them),
The people we work with (by respecting and spreading pleasantness),
The people we lust after, c"v (by davening for them m'umka deliba),
The people who treat us like garbage (cuz they are sick in the head),
Our families (by just being present and giving),
Our friends,
The people in the shuls we daven in (like by davening on time, and politely, perhaps)
The cashiers (by not being a jerk)

Goodness gracious! There are a lot of ways we can live to be helpful... but the main things are to be be helpful and giving to Hashem, to ourselves, and to those we are beholden to most of the time. The entire Chovos Halevavos is about being giving and helpful to Hashem. It's called hakoras hatov. And that's why writing out gratitude lists are such a mainstay of sanity.

For me, staying sober is the bottom line requirement for being useful. Acting out always, always screws up my life. So to stay useful, I need His help to keep away from the curiosity and stupidity (lying) that would get me back into it c"v.