Dear Readers,

There was a funny video that was going around.

A man who was cooking a large pot of soup, ladled out some, blew on it and then sampled a drop to see if the soup’s flavor needed any tweaking. Tasting that it needed more salt, he added more salt to the pot with one hand, while still holding the ladle with the other. He then tasted another drop from the ladle, but when the soup wasn’t any more salty, he poured more salt into the pot.

He added more and more salt to the soup, while simultaneously holding and tasting from the ladle, bewildered that his soup wasn’t becoming any more flavorful. Finally, he became so frustrated that he dumped most of the container of salt into the pot.

But, of course, the soup was becoming more salty—in fact, much too salty! He was simply tasting it from the original ladle in his hand!

Watching the man continue to salt his soup, I felt like yelling out to him: “Stop tasting from the ladle and get new soup from the pot!” No doubt, yelling at a man in a video would have been just as productive as what the man himself was doing.

But don’t we so often do that?

A husband will buy his wife roses to compensate for the lack of time and attention he’s been giving her. When he sees she isn’t happier in the marriage, he’ll buy her a larger and larger bouquet, or fancier and fancier gifts. But it’s not the gifts she’s missing, it’s him!

Or we’ll punish a child who is acting up and trying to get our attention. But the more we punish him, the more he seems to be acting up. When he can’t get our positive attention, he’ll settle for our negative attention.

We find ourselves working on resolutions to problems without actually monitoring the original problem and how it is being affected or changing. We look at the same solutions that we’ve been trying over and over—sometimes for years and years—even while knowing that those solutions have never worked. So why do we think that they ever will?

Unlike angels, who are considered “standing” from a spiritual perspective, the souls of humans are mehalchim, “walkers” who stride from level to level and peak to peak. We need to constantly reach for new heights, ascending higher and higher. We can’t do that by using the same solutions that don’t work or by stagnating our creativity within the realms of what we’ve always tried.

Only by fearlessly exploring new solutions—by challenging ourselves to discover new avenues, while constantly monitoring its effects on our changing situation—can we grow as people.

Because nobody likes soup that’s too salty . . . or dealing with the same problems over and over again.

Wishing you a week of discovering new potential!

Chana Weisberg

Editor, TJW