Examine Your Life
Question Ten: Should my main focus be on myself or on others?

   judyb455 :
We are born into this world on a journey to transform our nature. Whatever is blocked, limited, and selfish needs to be corrected so we can experience true fulfillment in life. Transformation comes not alone but with others encouraging, influencing, helping and sharing. Yes, we need to focus on our selves what we need to change but it extends beyond to others.

   ivanssacks :
My main focus should be on perfecting my self and not worrying about everybody else. In other words we need to be doing the right thing for our lives and not for everybody else's lives. If I see an old lady needs help crossing the road, I must assist but I should not take issues example "saving the whale into my focus when I need to put attention into my family or congregation." I think this can be summarized in Charity begins at home.

   Rabbi  Schwartz :

The Sages teach, "If I won't act for myself, who then will act for me?"  (Pirkei Avos 1.13) From this teaching we learn to focus first on our own needs. But then the Sages go on to say, "But if I am (only) for myself, what am I?" In other words, if I do nothing for others, I am nothing. So, certainly then, both aspects are vital. Still, where should my main focus lie?

While life is a test, we don't take it like a student writing exams in a silent study hall. We are tested in a large, noisy world full of people. Why is this? This must be that specifically by interacting with others, and the challenges this involves, can our true strengths shine.

One reason for this is that when we expand our actions beyond ourselves, fulfilling also the needs of others, we move into another area of achievement, a whole new world of doing. We are no longer just ourselves; we also become others, a part of them. Thus, we may do much, much more.

A second reason is that others stop us from deceiving ourselves, from thinking that we are all marvelous. When another wrinkles his nose at my work, I may understand that I really am not performing at my best, and I need to do better.

Thus, while we must do for ourselves, we will never count for much until we peer into our true mirror, which is the needs and responses of the others around us.

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