Monday Morning Medicine
"A cheerful heart is good medicine" Proverbs 17:22a
Edward Hallowell writes that for most people the two most powerful experiences in life are achieving and connecting. Most of what grabs our attention and commands our energy falls under these two categories.
He also mentions that our society is increasingly devoted to obsessed with, and enslaved by achieving, and increasingly bankrupt and impoverished when it comes to connecting.
Achieving is not bad, if done for the right reasons, but it is no substitute for connecting. In fact, if it is to be done right, it must honor community. The only really significant achievements are those that enrich the life of community.
THE RABBI THAT LOVED GOLF
“There was a retired rabbi who loved golf more than just about anything. Everyday he would go to the golf course, he was addicted to this game, so much so that when Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year came about, he pretended to be sick, sent his family off to the services without him, and snuck out to the empty green. It was a beautiful day, the vast green was his alone; he set aside his guilt and he tied up.
A host of reproving angels gathered to watch this sac-religious site. God came to join them, and with a slight smile on his face, God said to the angels, “Watch this!”
The rabbi swung, his form was superb, the ball flew, and with exquisite aim, it fell, divinely, into the hole.
The angels were in a rage. “What are you doing, O Lord, giving this heretic a hole in one!” they cried.
God winked. “Just wait a minute.”
Grumbling, the angels looked on as the rabbi’s face lightened up with ecstasy. He turned to his right to share his joy with someone, but there were only trees there. He turned to his left, but there were only trees there too. Behind him, there was nothing but trees. Then a frown came over the man’s face, as he realized the awful truth: There was no living soul he could tell.
The point is that all of our accomplishments, successes and achievements pale in significance when we lack the ability to share them with someone else. We need to experience connection with other people. We were born to experience connection.