You said that when we see people who are less fortunate than us so we should use that sight as an incentive to be happy with what we have. But how can we be happy when we pass by a person with a disability who cannot walk or some other crippling disability? Aren’t we hurting that person when he sees us, that we’re able to function in ways which he cannot?
And the answer is this. There are two parts to this subject. One part is sympathy, yes. But that’s not everything.
This week I saw two sights. One day I saw a man without one arm. And I said, “Boruch Hashem, I have two arms.” I started shaking my arms like this. “I have two functioning arms!” You have to appreciate your two arms. One sleeve of this man was empty. It was sent min haShomayim to make me aware that I have two arms; my sleeves are full! I forgot about it. All your life you’re going to forget about that great gift, that you have two arms?! So He sends reminders.
Then, also this week, another instance. A man was in a wheelchair; he had only one foot. “Ooh,” I said, “Two feet, what a blessing it is! I can hop and skip and jump. Two feet! What a chesed it is!”
And we have to utilize that. We must utilize that and learn how to thank Hashem: “Oh Hashem! What You did to me that I’m not sitting in a wheelchair!” You must think that. That’s why He sent it. This is a vision granted for the purpose of making you more aware of how fortunate you are and how much you owe to Hashem.
At the same time, you have to have sympathy. Yes. You have to have sympathy too. It’s not a contradiction at all. The happier you are, the more sympathy you have for him. “Look how happy I am; and he doesn’t have it. Ah, ah, what a pity on him.” That’s sympathy. The happier you are, the more you recognize the gift, the more sympathy you will feel.
What will you do with the sympathy? I can’t tell you right now; there are various things. At least you can daven to Hashem for him: “Hakodosh Boruch Hu, He looks like a decent man, maybe he’s a shoimer mitzvos too; let’s hope that You’ll comfort him and make him happy despite his disability.” That’s sympathy – of course you should have sympathy.
But the sympathy should not rob you of utilizing the opportunity of learning how to thank Hashem; and to always, always remember to be grateful to Hashem that you have two hands and two feet.
TAPE # E-187