Good Morning Everybody,
I think most of us are probably somewhat familiar with “zip folders”. They’re often used to send a large file or multiple files thru email. The zip folder basically bundles up the different files and compresses the data so that it’s small enough to be emailed. Then the recipient of the email clicks on the folder to open it up and see all the content inside.
I think zip folders can teach us a lot about sinas chinam (baseless hatred). We often treat people we’re not fond of like zip folders. With one major exception… We never open them up. We relate to them superficially, like a CLOSED zip folder. Never getting to know them well enough to understand what’s going on “inside them”. So we end up only focusing on the “outside stuff”, the surface level things that get on our nerves… (like certain personality traits, annoying habits, irritating idiosyncrasies or their opinions we don’t agree with…).
But we’re only relating to the “zip folder”…the outer shell of the person. There’s an entire human being inside that folder! If we took a moment to get to know the “content” of the person, it might give us an entirely new perspective. We might better understand why they tend to be a bit bossy, or short tempered or boisterous or meek or overly defensive, or act that certain way that gets under our skin. Just like us, they have a zillion gigs of information inside their zip folder. Their entire life history is stored in there. None of which we can relate to if we don’t “click on the zip.”
Now, it’s of course not always possible, practical or appropriate to seek out peoples’ life-stories. Sometimes we can’t “click on the zip” even if we wanted to. But that’s okay, because the main point here, as it relates to overcoming sinas chinam, is that we remember that our negative assessment of the other person is a one-dimensional, “closed-zip” assessment. But in reality, there’s a multi-faceted, dynamic, one of a kind person in that zip folder. A person created by Hashem!… Loved by Hashem! And put in our life this very moment for our ultimate benefit by Hashem! Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, people! Come on! (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)
So let’s make an effort to gain a broader perspective of those people we have trouble feeling positively about. Let’s “click on that zip” and get to know them a little better. And if we can’t, then let’s just judge favorably and assume there’s a lovable person worthy of our respect hiding inside that zip. Just like we’d want them, to think the same way about us.
Have a Zip-a-dee-doo-dah day everybody,
Keep on Building!