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?


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.