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Am I Too Good to Get Married?

Am I Too Good to Get Married?

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Question of the Week:

Is it possible to be too good? I sometimes think that if I keep working on myself, I will always be single, because I will be too far ahead of the guys out there. Do I need to limit my self-improvement?

Answer:

I wouldn’t worry about that. You can never be too good. I’d be worried about something else.

It is sometimes easy to confuse being righteous with being self-righteous. But in fact the two are worlds apart. A righteous person always sees the good in others. A self-righteous person can’t get over their own goodness. I’m sure you can imagine which of the two is better company.

That’s why the great chassidic master the Chozeh of Lublin said, “I prefer a wicked person who knows they are wicked, to a righteous person who knows they are righteous.” The first has a certain openness, because they know they have a lot to learn. The second is so self-satisfied, they leave no room for others in their life.

Even self-improvement can sometimes be just another form of self-absorption. Like the self-help addict who is so busy becoming a better person they don’t have time for anyone else. “I’d love to help you, but I am working on my compassion right now.”

Don’t take yourself too seriously. Take others seriously. Notice their needs, and try to be there for them. Notice their goodness, and try to learn from them. Then you will not only be a good person, you will also be good company.

Aron Moss is rabbi of the Nefesh Community in Sydney, Australia, and is a frequent contributor to Chabad.org.
Sefira Ross is a freelance designer and illustrator whose original creations grace many Chabad.org pages. Residing in Seattle, Washington, her days are spent between multitasking illustrations and being a mom.
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Ross Bay Area, CA October 26, 2017

I've found true change to be as effortless as a revelation.

Consider a smoker who desires to quit smoking. They believe that to quit smoking is to not smoke, but that's tantamount to pruning flowers and it's usually not that simple. The change that really needs to be made is so subtle that they didn't even notice it the first time around when it hooked them, long before they ever took their first drag. We might conclude that it was lifestyle, or perhaps it was their desire for acceptance, and then address those things.

Again, drug addicts were druggies long before they ever took up and used drugs. Their spirit was poisoned by their environment, ie. people and music. Many remain druggies long after they've quit. This is why so many relapse.

Anywhere lies are believed, sin follows. Reply

Gary Samuel Besner Casa Grande, Arizona October 26, 2017

Dear Aron, I love your article. One thing I've learned after many of addiction, depression, obesity and failure is that g-d has no problem with us crying for our own suffering. It isn't an act of vanity, but part of our growth as spiritual beings. I feel as if I am at my own beginning and perhaps the personal failure I suffered taught me humility, compassion and to love unconditionally, not to judge and to see how beautiful and fragile we all are. And I recently learned that perfection does exist, not in anything physical but in our love and hope or others. Reply

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