Jan 20, 2014

Mind Your Own Business?

* Someone says, "They say that we should let young couples make their own mistakes.  I think that's ridiculous! What sense is there in that? I was happy to be told how to avoid mistakes."

* Someone says, "I used to think it was a good idea, a chesed, to offer good advice.  My father says, don't offer advice to people unless they ask for it.  Why? Because unless they ask for it (and even if they do), they are not receptive to listening to it."

* Someone asks, "I have a tendency to tell people what to do because I really care and because often I am knowledgeable about a subject that the other person is not.  I always thought of myself as helpful, but a relative told me that my constant advice giving is annoying."

We live in a country in which independence is championed and "mind your own business" (MYOB) is a value.

And yet, what are we to learn from Yisro? He observed the situation of Moshe and the Jewish people in the desert and he critiqued it.  Without being asked.  (And he was an in-law, no less, who is warned to MYOB!) And then he gave advice.  And Moshe accepted it.

Should we emulate Yisro when we see something amiss? Or maybe the lesson to learn from this is to emulate Moshe who, when told that the way he was handling the situation was detrimental and was given advice, accepted it!

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