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A Growing Grown-Up

A Growing Grown-Up


Do you ever feel that you still haven’t figured out what you’ll do “when you grow up”? I sometimes do. And while that uncertainty may not be so great when it comes to career choices, it works for personal growth. I don’t know what I’ll be doing when I finish growing, because hopefully that will never happen.

In Ethics of Our Fathers, it says, “Shimon his son said, ‘All my days I grew up among the sages and did not find anything better for one’s person than silence.’”1

The Lubavitcher Rebbe derives an important lesson from this introductory phrase, “All my days I grew up.” Rabbi Shimon was hinting to the fact that he never ceased growing as a person. Even as he amassed large amounts of Torah knowledge, he was never content and always sought to learn more.

How did he maintain his growth? By being "among the sages." He was willing to constantly learn from people wiser and greater than he.

Rabbi Shimon found that there was nothing "better for one's person than silence." Silence—and the humility to open one's heart and mind to the counsel of others—is the key to lifelong growth.

I wasn't born with all the knowledge and tools needed for parenting, educating my children, and navigating all the nuances of life. But when I'm “silent,” when I listen to the voices of the sages or pick up the phone to ask for advice, I am able to make better choices today than I did yesterday.

Thoughtstream: Today, I will raise my children by raising myself.

(Adapted from Sichot Shabbat Parshat Matot 5741.)

Avot 1:17.
Sara Blau is a teacher and extracurricular director at Beth Rivkah High School. She is a wife, mother, and author of several children“s books.
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Ethics of the Fathers is a tractate of the Mishna that details the Torah's views on ethics and interpersonal relationships. Enjoy insights, audio classes and stories on these fascinating topics.