Shalom Challenge Day One: The 317M Things I Don’t Know About You (and the one thing I do)

Shalom Challenge Day One: The 317M Things I Don't Know About You (and the one thing I do) 1
Transcript & today’s challenge
The planet Earth.
317,000,000 square miles of oceans and continents, forests and fields, cities and villages.
Thousands of cultures, languages, political systems, rivalries, and alliances.

Thousands of years of history.

Could one person living in one place, ever understand more than a tiny fraction of this vast and multi-layered world?

Could anyone judge the entire world based on their own limited perception of it?

Judaism teaches that every individual is a world unto himself. His personality, experiences, history, and perspectives are varied and complex. Could anyone perceive more than a small fraction of who he is?

And yet that is how we judge others. A trait emerges before our eyes and we identify the entire person in that light.If he refuses a favor, he is unkind.If he shows his temper, he’s an angry person.If he is momentarily busy, he is egocentric.Not only is our perception limited, but often it is focused on the negative. We see ourselves as shrewd judges of others’ characters.

But when we zero in on their deficiencies, we miss all the good.

Our habit of looking at the negative, pours negativity into ourselves, infecting our relationships with others and the world around us. Yet each person is a world, so much greater than the small glimpses we can see.Inside each body there’s a soul full of longing for light.Inside each heart there are hopes for personal growth, success, love, and acceptance.Each hand has its abilities, each mind has its imaginings.When we focus our eyes on the good and beauty in the people in our lives, we not only build healthier, richer relationships – we also build a life of peace and happiness.

For we are not only seeing the good, we are seeing the truth.
Today’s challenge: Switch the label
Take a child (or someone you’re close to) you label negatively — e.g.lazy, argumentative, difficult, bad — and think of a positive label to replace it. The next time you interact with them, focus on the new label and feel your tolerance & love increase.
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Shalom Challenge Day One: The 317M Things I Don't Know About You (and the one thing I do) 2

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