A friend who had read Rabbi Brody’s latest post, thought it was Covey-esque. In the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Covey describes a situation where a person was complaining that he was growing apart from his wife and Covey kept on insisting, well then “Just Love Her”. Covey’s point was that love is a verb and it’s totally within our power to increase our love for another person.
Rabbi Noach Weinberg gives the following definition of Love: “The pleasure of identifying people with their virtues.” This identification leads to connection and since everyone has virtues, it is possible to increase our love and connect with every person.
As I kept on rereading Rabbi Brody’s post, I saw more and more the wisdom of the advice he was giving. I was focusing on the good advice, that improvement of Dennis situation was greatly dependent on him improving his attitude and actions, and less focused on whether I shared his exact views on the value of outside counseling.
That’s the purpose of this site, learning and growing by seeing and hearing the good things people are saying. Appreciating the virtues and being a little less focused on the perceived deficiencies. I know this might sound Pollyannish, but it’s really Torah 101.
After we’ve worked on seeing the good, then we can slug it out in the comments over any points of disagreement. For example, do you think it’s healthy to support Torah concepts from non-Torah sources or should we make more effort to use exclusively Torah sources? Or what is your understanding of the Torah definition of the emotion of love (as opposed to the actions that bring us to love or result from love)?
Here’s a list of list of positive attributes to focus on adapted from “Begin Again Now” by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin.
Accepting / Accomplished / Adventurous / Agreeable / Altruistic / Ambitious / Appreciative / Articulate / Assertive / Attentive / Balanced / Brave / Calm / Caring / Cautious / Charismatic / Charitable / Cheerful / Compassionate / Confident / Conscientious / Consistent / Cooperative / Creative / Decisive / Dignified / Diplomatic / Easygoing / Efficient / Energetic / Enthusiastic / Expressive / Fair / Flexible / Forgiving / Friendly / Generous / Gentle / Handy / Hardworking / Healthy / Honest / Humble / Idealistic / Insightful / Knowledgeable / Logical / Loving / Loyal / Mature / Methodical / Moral / Neat / Open / Optimistic / Organized / Original / Patient / Persistent / Polite / Practical / Productive / Punctual / Realistic / Relaxed / Reliable / Scholarly / Self-assured / Sincere / Skillful / Spiritual / Sweet / Talented / Thrifty / Tolerant / Versatile / Warm / Wise