If a person is sensitive to remarks is that a sign of conceit?
Not necessarily. It’s a sign of weakness. When people are sensitive it’s a sign that they are not hardened to existence in this world. If you want to live in this world, you must be thick skinned. That’s why Hakodosh Boruch Hu clothed every human with a skin. He could have let us come into this world without a skin. But the skin is impervious to certain things. For instance, when you take a bath, some people like to soak for a long time in water; but the water never soaks through. The most the water soaks through is through the epidermis, the outer skin. It never enters the inner skin. Otherwise, you would be out of luck. You’d have to get a derrick to pull you out of the bathtub. You’d be waterlogged.
So Hakodosh Boruch Hu gives you a skin that is wet on the inside; on the inside it’s wet because it’s the surface of the body fluids. But on the outside it resists the fluids. It’s a wonderful organ. The skin is an organ by the way. The skin is not just a cover. It’s one of the organs of the body. When a person is skinned he cannot survive just like he can’t live without kidneys.
And therefore you have to have a skin on you; and the skin has to be strong enough to withstand the barbs that you encounter in your dealings with people. You’re always going to have certain stimuli; you’ll be needled more or less. Of course it doesn’t mean that you should needle people but it’s impossible to avoid saying something that a sensitive person will feel harmed by. And therefore you’ll be on the receiving end of barbs in this world, no question. And so, if you want to live in this world then you have to learn how to ignore.
TAPE # 263 (May 1979)