Wednesday, 18 January 2012

People, Not Objects

by Shlomo (See all authors)

I had to speak to my teenage boys recently about the dealing with the challenges of being a teenager. What I shared with them I have tried to take to heart in my own life. It has helped shed clarity on my own perspective and I wanted to share it with the group.

What I explained to my boys was that that there is a fundamental difference between the way the world wants us to look at women and the way Yidishkeit looks at women.

The word at large wants us to look at women as objects of desire. That is why they put a pretty woman on an advertisement for a car for a soft drink or for anything else. Desire the woman and desire the object. Both are there only for our pleasure. Women are OBJECTS to fill our desires. Viewing women or thinking about women in this light de-voids the woman of being a person. She is just an OBJECT to fuel our lust.

Yidishkeit portrays women as role models. The Emahos were real people with incredible depth and insight. The Torah specifically tells us about their personal struggles and challenges and how they reached out to Hashem for their salvation. They were HUMAN BEINGS of enormous potential filled with aspirations and hopes. They were incredible PEOPLE to look up to and to emulate. The Torah tells us that the Emahos were physically beautiful. Why is this relevant? The Torah is ingraining in us that women, even beautiful women, are people, potentially great people. They are not objects. The mother of today is the Ekeres Habais. She is the primary influence on the chinuch of our children. The mother of today struggles to be loved and appreciated as every human being does. Once again, the women role model of today is a person to look up to and respect.

When we train ourselves to look at a woman in general as a person, not an object, it changes our perspective of how we think about that person.

This idea can be applied to us in our daily lives. When you see a pretty co-worker or a pretty woman on the street, you have a choice. You can see another OBJECT of desire. A pretty package that is only there to serve your desire and lust. OR you can see a PERSON just like yourself. A person who is trying to pay her bills. A person who is trying to be conscientious at work. A person who may be a mother or a good friend to somebody. So what that she comes in a pretty package! At the end of the day she is a person just like you, struggling to make it thorough her day. When you take note of a pretty person, turn away before the lust takes hold and blinds you from seeing her as a person. Start training yourself, before the wrong thoughts take hold, to think of her as someone's mother or supportive friend. Think of her as a tax payer, or as someone who has to deal with traffic. Viewing her in that light will hopefully make you aware that the person you saw is just that, A PERSON, not an object for your desire.

I have tried to take this to heart and incorporate this into my own life and have found that it helps.

If you feel that there is value in the above, please feel free to share it. I would appreciate people's feedback or comments.

Thanks for the daily chizuk. It is exactly that. Daily, often needed, Chizuk.

Shlomo

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