Message for the Week from Rabbi Stein

Metrics for Success

Rabbi Jay M. Stein on Thursday, August 2, 2018 at 12:00:00 am

Mishna Avot 4,1

BEN ZOMA SAID: WHO IS HE THAT IS WISE? HE WHO LEARNS FROM EVERY MAN, AS IT IS SAID: FROM ALL WHO TAUGHT ME HAVE I GAINED UNDERSTANDING, WHEN THY TESTIMONIES WERE MY MEDITATION.  WHO IS HE THAT IS MIGHTY? HE WHO SUBDUES HIS [EVIL] INCLINATION, AS IT IS SAID: HE THAT IS SLOW TO ANGER IS BETTER THAN THE MIGHTY; AND HE THAT RULETH HIS SPIRIT THAN HE THAT TAKETH A CITY.  WHO IS HE THAT IS RICH? HE WHO REJOICES IN HIS LOT, AS IT IS SAID: WHEN THOU EATEST OF THE LABOUR OF THY HANDS, HAPPY SHALT THOU BE, AND IT SHALL BE WELL WITH THEE. HAPPY SHALT THOU BE — IN THIS WORLD, AND IT SHALL BE WELL WITH THEE — IN THE WORLD TO COME.   WHO IS HE THAT IS HONOURED? HE WHO HONOURS HIS FELLOW-MEN, AS IT IS SAID: FOR THEM THAT HONOUR ME I WILL HONOUR, AND THEY THAT DESPISE ME SHALL BE LIGHTLY ESTEEMED.

The S.A.T’s and A.C.T’s are not necessarily an indicator of future collegiate success.  And collegiate success is not necessarily an indicator of future success in life.

Each of us knows people who struggled through college or didn’t even attend college yet became very successful and vice versa.

This Mishna defines standards for success and intimates that we should be evaluating success by these values.  Wisdom, emotional stability, wealth, respect for others are all components of a "good" life that require our attention.  This Mishna suggests a framework for helping us to determine whether or not we have achieved our desired goals.