Needs and Doings

If I truly believe in God’s goodness, it will be perfectly clear to me that God does not shortchange anyone and I will know with certainty that with the powers that God gave me I can fully emerge as myself.

Furthermore I will understand that the potential for the full form and stature of who I can become is already built into me.

No two people are alike. Each person comprises a completely singular combination of strengths that makes him or her unique in all the world. In the book Alei Shur we read: “One dynasty does not encroach upon another even by a hairsbreadth.”

There is something curious about this statement. It is borrowed from a different area of Torah study. At the time period when kings reigned in Israel, this expression is used to explain that king David’s reign could not begin until king Saul’s dynasty had to come to a clear and complete finish. So by using this expression in the context of every person’s uniqueness, our study book was implying that each individual is like a king or queen in his or her world and no one can encroach upon another person’s reign. No one else can do what I can do!

The book continued: “Therefore a person must accept himself as he is and must wish to have all that he does have, both spiritually and materially. This is the depth of the meaning of happiness. A person is at peace with himself and his destiny and lives in harmony with himself.”

This can be summarized in the following way:

a) God gave me a unique combination of strengths comprising everything I need…

b) … to do what I’ve been created to do, that no one else can do

We say two blessings every day to express the two aspects of happiness-inducing awareness that we’ve spoken of:

a) You are a source of blessing God, our Lord King of the universe, who has made me with all of my needs

b) You are a source of blessing God, our Lord King of the universe, who has prepared the steps of a human being

As a practice of increasing the kind of awareness that will lead to happiness we can say these two blessings with mindfulness. Alternatively, there are many ways to enhance our awareness of these two aspects of life.

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