Monday, January 21, 2008

Aspiring to Make a Difference--and Failing due to Laziness

A couple posts ago I said that the person I know (well) who gets 200,000 hits a DAY on his blog, was doing something more important with his time than I am--even though I enjoy many wonderful pleasures from my life. Does that make him superior to me? I maintain that it does, though it seems others disagree.

He uses his time wisely. He works constantly, and enjoys most of what he does, even though the writing can be challenging. I enjoy what I do too--family-centered stuff, and house-centered stuff and a much smaller amount of writing.

Is it enough to enjoy your life, or is it BETTER to be actively working to influence others? I do influence others--just today I was talking to a Jewish friend and, I hope, was able to influence her to take on more mitzvot. Very nice. But the 200,000 hit man has probably not only influenced thousands to advance their Jewish commitment, but also influenced many, many thousands of others to view Judaism more positively, even though they, themselves are NOT Jewish.

And for that, he is a better person than I am. He, I believe, will earn BIG credits with God. For my nice little impact, I'll earn perhaps a few piddly credits with God. Something, surely, but no comparison.

Now, you may say, as Moshe did in my comments, that what I do enables Mr. 200,000 to make his big impact. Yes, that's true, and I'm hoping that my backdrop-sustenance will gain me a hold onto Mr. 200,000's coattails when it comes to being judged ultimately. But when I load the dishwasher and wash laundry and cook a Shabbos meal and talk on the phone to people, maintaining our social network, I am doing mundane tasks--and tasks that Mr. 200,000 appreciates but doesn't really NEED to make his huge impact. If we bought food from a caterer for Shabbat, we'd have a nice meal, I'd get five hours, and Mr. 200,000 would enjoy it. If we used paper plates, we wouldn't be ecologically "green," but Mr. 200,000 would be churning out his profound wisdom just the same.

I feel guilty. I do fun things (like edit my huge number of photos, and shop for three hours on the Internet for a camera for my daughter) while Mr. 200,000 is spewing insight out into the blog-o-webworld. How can you argue with the fact that what he is doing is superior? And that his choice to spend his time on earth making a BIG difference is superior to writing this little un-read, self-indulgent blog that I enjoy?


  1. You can't spend your life comparing yourself to others. Everyone has a unique purpose in this world--some will impact society at large, some will impact their communities, some will impact just close family and friends. The important thing is to feel that you are fulfilling your role to the best of your ability. And, as far as I can see, you're doing an excellent job so far. :)

  2. Thank you, SJ, that means a lot to me!

  3. Oh, ye of idealistic faith!Seconding SJ's thoughts big-time, I also opine that the Almighty judges each of us with individual
    "rulers" and that's the only comparison/judgment that counts in the world beyond. If you really think MisterMasterBlogger can do what he does without all YOU do for him, your family, and our community, try physically absenting yourself for two weeks (without extraneous help)as I've been compelled to do myself in the past year due to family demands -- something you'll never do, at least for now. Yes, takeout and paper plates may work for a week, but your physical/emotional/ spiritual presence is absolutely required in his life.

    And I am NOT dissing either him nor his ability to function -- I just think you're giving yourself short-shrift in the Esteem Dept. You ... a valuable wife/mom/friend?
    ... uh, try ... PRICELESS! I've seen how he totally lights up in your presence -- you're the ever-ready battery that helps power HIS light, don'tcha know?

    No one can assuage your guilt, but no one I know is judging you. So keep on blogging, shopping,cooking,
    organizing,carpooling,rainbowing, laughing, loving -- with mucho gusto ... POWER ON!!

  4. DEAR inFURiating Bright light! I don't know how to explain that every single sentence you write about yourself is 5,000% wrong. I found myself getting mad, and in trying to figure out what to say, I find myself getting madder. Where to begin? Which of the 2,436 falsehood should I choose to argue down first? And how can I use mere WORDS to convey the effect you have on me, the love you inspire, the lesson your life is to me and so many others in HOW to live. Sheesh! You are making me SOOOOOOOOOO mad. I need some anger management. GRRRRRRRRRRRR! If I didn't love you, I'd hate you!!!! Choose another subject!!!!! #$%#$!%#$^%$@^%$^$@^^% = inexpressible indignation at this inexcusable lashon hara against yourself.

  5. Doubletee and especially Mink, You have made me chuckle, even laugh! I was not fishing for validation, I swear! Facts are facts, and I wrote, without resentment, that some people are superior and more important than others--which is TRUE, like it or not. That doesn't mean I feel worthless or low, and in fact, I enjoy my lesser-important life to the HILT! The nagging problem for me is, however, that I know in my heart of hearts that I COULD be doing the SAME enjoying and ALSO making a much bigger difference, on my own! It is that lazy waste of time, which, frankly, comes from a strange inner fear of being judged, that stops me from what I SHOULD be doing and writing. Shame on me--and for THAT, I am lesser than the 200,000-hit man who really USES his time, most prolifically and brilliantly.

  6. Dear Northern Light,
    My wife and I once had a conversation about whether the 36 Hidden Tzadikim could include a lady -- based on the case of YOU! This is a true story. So don't give us this stuff about being insignificant because you don't get 200,000 blog hits!

  7. Ezra & Naomi, You've given me a hearty laugh and a big blush from your flattery...But I still feel that sometimes the bald truth is still the truth even if it doesn't seem right! Thank you for being so sweet.