As humans, we can have one of several reactions when receiving something:
“I have 100 of that—now I want 200.”
“This was successful. I must be such a smart guy!”
In this week’s parshah, Yaakov Avinu has a different, better reaction. He says, “I have become small from all the kindness…for with my staff [only] I crossed this Jordan, and now I have become two camps.”
Most of us become emboldened by abundant success. We walk around thinking everyone should marvel at our genius, offering advice we think all should follow to replicate what we did. “If only more people were like me!”
Yaakov Avinu, on the other hand, became humbled by success. He understood that everything comes from the Creator. If he built a large community, it was only because G-d granted him success.
Being humble isn’t just a good recipe for being thankful to the One above. It helps interpersonal relationships, as well. When we’re humble, we’re able to appreciate others—others’ opinions, other perspectives at work, differences between family members. When we accomplish something, the focus doesn’t become us. It’s about those who helped and made it possible.
Being thankful is a tremendous character trait to master. But it can only happen if we are humble and don’t feel the world owes us whatever we have.
We have so much. Now all’s that’s left is to realize it.
Of course, we still daven and yearn for the coming of Mashiach. Besides the healing it will bring, Mashiach will also open our eyes to the wonders, miracles and amazing times we are currently living in.
Wishing you a peaceful Shabbos,