Posts Tagged ‘harold kushner’

Dear World,

We’ve been through a lot together over the decades you and I-marriages, births, deaths, fulfillment & disappointment, war & peace, good times & hard times. There were days when you were more generous to me than I could possibly have deserved. And there were days when you cheated me out of things I felt I was entitled to. There were days when you looked so achingly beautiful that I could hardly believe you were mine, and days when you broke my heart and reduced me to tears. But with it all, I chose to love you, whether you deserve it or not. (& how does one measure that?) I love you because I like who I am better when I do. But mostly I love you because loving you makes it easier for me to be grateful for today and hopeful about tomorrow. Love does that. 

Faithfully yours, 

Harold Kushner

This beautiful letter came at the end of Kushner’s book “9 Essential Things I Learned About Life.” 

(Hear what this letter means to me on my podcast The Sales Life

Strange how Life can be a mixture of such vast emotions right?

…some days there aren’t enough words to express just how wonderful things are…other days there are no words that can adequately describe just how broken we’ve become. One day we’re on high…other days we’ve painfully discovered rock bottom has many levels.

Whatever it is…however it is…it’s your world…love it no matter what. Hard to do some days I know…but it’s the only one you’ve got…and you’ll be better when you do.

Just  remember it could always be better…but it too could be much worse.

In his book, When Bad Things Happen To Good People, Harold Kushner tells of an old Chinese tale of a woman whose only son had died.

 ”In her grief, she went to the holy man and said, “What prayers, what magical incantations do you have to bring my son back to life?” Instead of sending her away or reasoning with her, he said to her, “Fetch me a mustard seed from a home that has never known sorrow. We will use it to drive the sorrow out of your life.” The woman set off at once in search of the magical mustard seed. She came first to a splendid mansion, knocked at the door and said, “I am looking for a home that has never known sorrow. Is this such a place? It is very important to me.” They told her, “You’ve certainly come to the wrong place,” and began to describe all the tragic things that had recently befallen on them. The woman said to herself, “Who is better to help these poor unfortunate people than I, who have had misfortune of my own.” 

After comforting one family, the lady continued on her journey in search for the magical mustard seed, but every palace and home she turned to was another story of hardships and misfortunes. “Ultimately she became so involved in ministering to other people’s griefs that she forgot about her quest for the magical mustard seed-never realizing that it had in fact driven the sorrow out of her own life.” 

From the richest to the destitute, when it comes to problems, we’re all on the same ship-just different decks. Even though what you are going through right now may seem unfair or unjust, there’s someone, somewhere who would gladly swap their problems for yours. It’s not to diminish the fact that what you are facing-albeit a financial hardship, strained relationship, sales slump, or maybe even something greater, isn’t painful, but understand that what you are going through today will not remain a problem forever. Rather than focusing only on your problems, use them instead to fuel the possibilities. Seek the opportunity to help others who are walking on the path that you once traveled. Let them know that they are not alone on their journey-you made it through and so can they.  Their road is less ominous when you become the light. Interestingly when you become the light to others, you in turn become the light to yourself. 

Lift your perspective to look at life not as a closure, but more as a series of detours. Behind every problem rests the opportunity-look for it.