Sunday, February 26, 2012

Additional Note on the Pseudo-Tzaddik (Saint):

   Since some readers arrive here when "new posts" appear, they may miss the update that I put into Thursday's post, so I am also posting it here. 

 A reader commented on Thursday’s post:
    “ What point is there to be depressed? Depression only makes a person lose hope and blunts an attempt to energetically pursue a resolution instead.
   This comment shows that I was not fully understood, and the point is important enough that I feel it needs an additional note (or post) to clarify the matter.
     I was NOT talking about being depressed or being "down". This is also not about giving up hope, or trying to rectify things. I am an extremely positive person (I think I owe my mother for that....).  I am talking about letting people learn to live with the reality that that not all problems have simple solutions, and sometimes people need to accept that there is NO easy cure, and learn to BE HAPPY in the situation they are in.  (I was not specifically talking in this case about Down syndrome, BTW. I have a different family member with a different problem.) However, as regards Down syndrome, I once read a quote from a "New" mother of a baby with Down syndrome who on going to a support group thought that she had fallen into a crazy house when all the other mothers were gushing about how lucky they were to have a baby with Down syndrome. Since reading that quote, whenever I am at a meeting and everyone is doing this "Gee I'm so lucky" scene, I make a point to mention something I DON'T like about Ricki's behavior (along with something terrific that she did), so that any new mothers who are still in the "Why in the world did this tragedy happen to me" stage will not feel like she landed on Mars.

     This commenter also writes: "Think good, so it will be good".
    Yes, there is truth to this, and a positive attitude and outlook is beneficial to us, both mentally and physically.
     BUT most of us are not recipients of open miracles, (and I certainly do not believe myself to be on the level to be worthy of one). I agree that we must never give up hope for changes for the better.  But to EXPECT an open miracle, or to deny the reality that one may not merit one, can be counter productive. As much as there is a danger of not actively seeking  positive changes if one accepts this reality, there is an even bigger danger in living in a Pollyanna world where we expect G-d to cure the incurable, or where we assume that He will ensure that we will be in the small number of  those who have a “positive outcome” in situations where this is rare. These are the dangers of this approach:

1) When an individual can not accept that their situation is not normally “cured”,  they may often, in their desperation to find a solution, expend TONS of energy/money searching for that elusive cure. QUACKS LOVE these people, and incurable things are a quacks daydream.

2) People living with the problem meantime, are so centered in finding the cure, with the "I HAVE to correct this!" attitude, that they can be angry and upset at being unable to do so in the meantime.

3)  When a person believes fully that G-d will make a miracle for them, and in the end, that miracle just doesn’t occur, their faith (or the faith of their children, who have been raised on this “G-d will take care of all things” attitude) may be shaken.

 I personally feel that in most cases, learning to BE HAPPY in spite of one's problems, and to not make the "problem" the complete obsession of one's life, is the healthiest thing to do. We need to make a normal amount of effort, and to pray to G-d for His help. But more than that, we need to feel that whatever G-d does is for a reason and that He is with us all the way, NO MATTER WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS. We need to work on our relationship with G-d, to work on improving ourselves, and enjoying the wonderful things that we do have.

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