Growing Each Day by Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski

Tammuz 7
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Accept truth from whomever speaks it (Maimonides, Kiddush HaChodesh 17:24).

Some extremely choosy people will accept guidance or teaching only from an acknowledged authority, because they consider accepting anything from anyone of lesser stature a demeaning affront to their ego.

Among my physician colleagues, I have observed this phenomenon when a patient requests consultation. Those doctors who have self-esteem and know that they are competent have no problem accepting consultation, but those who are less self-confident may interpret the request for consultation as an insinuation that they are inadequate. They may be insulted by this request, and if they do comply with it, they will accept as a consultant only the chief of the department at a university medical school or some other renowned personage. Any other consultant constitutes a threat to their ego, an admission that "he may know more than I do."

Physicians are not the only guilty party; professionals and artisans of all types can also show a lack of self-confidence by displaying this intellectual snobbery.

The Talmud states that truly wise people can learn from everyone, even from people who may be far beneath them. Limiting ourselves to learning only from outstanding experts is not only vain, but it also severely restricts our education. Humility is essential for learning, and we should accept the truth because it is the truth, regardless of who speaks it.

Today I shall...

try to learn from everyone, even from someone whom I may consider inferior to me in knowledge.

With stories and insights, Rabbi Twerski's new book Twerski on Machzor makes Rosh Hashanah prayers more meaningful. Click here to order...


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