Monday, March 20, 2006

Patience or Humility?

I love volunteering. I love the opportunity to do mitzvot. That is, I love it until the point when it becomes something I feel obligated to do, by which I mean, I’m doing it to take up slack for others, not because I genuinely want to do it. When I walk around the house muttering, “what’s WRONG with this community?!” and driving my husband nuts. Poor thing, he’s very good at letting things slide off his back, and occasionally tries to give me lessons in relaxation – usually when I’m obsessing/worrying about some little thing over which I have no control.

Why is it that offerings of the heart so quickly and easily become albatrosses around our necks (and where in the world does expression come from)??

Am I just always going to prefer the quick-fix, emergency mitzvah? Organizing events on the fly, at the last minute, enjoying the adrenaline rush of getting it all together just in time? Right now, I’m in the middle of several long-term projects which were fun in the planning stages, before other partners abandoned them, and left me in charge of something I wanted to brainstorm, not implement. And left with the choice between abandoning necessary projects, feeling guilty, or plugging away at them, feeling resentful that everyone else claims to be “too busy” to help with things they agree are very important…

Clearly, I have no perspective. The world will not fall apart if I can’t be there to fix things. Some people might go hungry or lonely, opportunities for doing good will slip by, but there are bigger problems out there. Having given up on saving the entire world years ago, I am trying to settle for improving my little corner of it, but the world doesn’t always want to cooperate.

If I can’t learn patience, I can at least learn humility.


Blogger Maggid Sarah said...

Perspective? Look to the name of your blog! You are "manna" for your community. As such, the community needs to respect how much of your energy and efforts is healthful to take, and take no more. This is the principle of manna-- you get exactly what you need, what is healthful, and no more. Anything that is horded for future use becomes wormy and uneatable. So too with your energy. Once the community starts hording your energy beyond what is healthful for you, then your efforts become wormy and of not constructive use to the community. This may sound like a big leap, but if you think about it it will make sense. Better for some things not to get done, than let the hording of your manna energy burn you out. Honest.

3/21/2006 4:41 PM  

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