Input, Output

We can divide our activities into two -- what we do to build ourselves, and what we do for the good of others. This we can call input and output.
All business works within these two areas. Input for them includes planning, research, attracting investors, hiring staff, building their assets, etc. Output is producing goods and services, advertising and selling to the public.

Which of these departments gets the most attention? Which one is most critical for the company's success? It depends. Established merchandise needs aggressive marketing and promotion for its financial success. A new product however, requires deep research before it can enter the world.

We likewise should make this calculation. If we feel we are well established, we can allow ourselves to give to others. We can work to promote and sell our services as we strive to help the world. Our main work then will be in mixing with other people.

If however, we still need to grow, we should focus mainly on our input. If we can know that to improve ourselves is to improve our lifestyle and our world, we should invest our energies into our studies; we should learn more deeply, thoroughly, turning our thoughts to the wellsprings of knowledge.

   Input, Output II 

Is it right for us to put our energies into building ourselves? Can we place ourselves in ivory towers, turning our thoughts simply to self-growth?

On the other hand, if we work mainly for the benefit of others, what happens to ourselves?

The good news here is that through helping others, we really promote our own growth. Giving of ourselves makes us more sensitive, giving, greater people.

Similarly, and on the other hand, when we build ourselves, we benefit others. Picture a beautiful jug -- that's you -- standing under the tap of a wine barrel, with wine pouring down into it. Surrounding the jug are little glasses. If the jug remains there long enough, eventually it will overflow, and fill all the glasses around it, while remaining full at the same time.[1] In reaching for our perfection, we enrich many, many others.

This is the ultimate type of self-growth.


[1] When people asked the Chazon Ish why he remained unknown for the first fifty years of his life, he gave the above analogy.

To the analogy, he added, "Had the jug however, started giving of itself at an earlier stage, it would have removed itself from under the streaming tap. Moreover, as it poured its wine into the cups around it, gradually it would have emptied out. (Pe'er HaDor)

Let us continue always to grow.

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