Avraham Tzvi Schwartz
is the highest pleasure? Where, when and how are we the happiest?
is not a child's question. We can't answer it by saying, "When I eat
ice-cream" or "when I am at the beach". To change these words to
something like "when I win the jackpot" or "when ten thousand people
applaud me", is also not enough. For in answering this question
properly, we have an opportunity, an excellent opening to find the
attitude and mindset we need to live at the highest of levels.
So let's ask
the question again. What is the highest pleasure? In which way can we
live happily ever after?
to escape hardship is not possible. Each one of us has his own parcel
of problems. Therefore, instead of avoiding problems, we have, somehow,
to tackle them. Instead of wishing they would disappear, we need to
make them a part of the pleasure. Somehow, we have to program ourselves
to look at life's difficulties as a challenge -- even as "fun". Here is
an example of an "attitude formula":
Hashem, for the
troubles in my life, for through them I learn to come closer to You --
Master of Creation -- Source of all pleasure and goodness."
believe our problems are good for us. They help us develop. If we use
the opportunity they give us in the right way, they help us grow. As
such, we should accept them graciously. Moreover, we should even take
in pleasure in our problems...
"One minute, please, you say we should take PLEASURE from our problems?"
solution lies however, in strengthening our commitment to personal
improvement. As refined as we are, we need to become more refined. As
disciplined as we are, we need to strive for higher levels of control.
We may think calmly, we may be happy with our everyday, but we can
improve these areas as well. We can become more, much more, than we are
If this is where we are holding then our problems
are welcome. For they serve as indicators, measures of how well we are
doing. For example, if I'm working on controlling my anger, then an
event that provokes anger can show me how strong I am, how much
progress I have made. It is my speedometer on the road to
self-perfection. Surely then I should take pleasure in it?