Saying Sorry

As I turned to write this, I was in the middle of reviewing a document a friend had asked me to look at a little while ago. In somewhat typical fashion, I had not done it right away, and had basically forgotten about it until he pinged me again, and even then I didn’t get to it right away.  

I feel terrible about that, and as I reflect on things as part of Yom Kippur today, I realize that one of the things I feel the worst about over the past year is being a bad communicator. I have let things drop and haven’t been responsive.  At the end of the day, it’s a matter of respect and I have not done a good enough job.

So for the many of you out there (including readers of this blog — notice no new posts for about 5 months…) who I’ve done this to, I am sorry. I will do better.

2 comments on “Saying Sorry”

I think the opposite you have to tone down the obligations. One example is Yom Kippur which took me forever to stop worrying about. Sure it was the way I was raised and for lack of a better way to put it brainwashed. Yes I still feel a small bit guilty eating (yesterday) but less each year (my wife still fasts as do my kids).

One of the things that I have found that leads to happiness is to completely throw out most things which don’t have a clear beneficial basis other than the way you were raised or what someone else expects you to do. In other words to be selfish. This doesn’t mean don’t answer emails or don’t review a document that someone sends you. But no need to prove anything by fasting or attending shul or going to a shiva or a funeral if the only reason is for parents or others who might see or not see you. In other words don’t worry about the evil eye. This is part of the key to my happiness that has worked for me. What I have found is that in the end you either fill 100% of obligations or you are on the s*** ‘list’ and looked down upon. Just mentioning what has worked well for me.

One very important point. To me ‘respect’ is not suffering for someone else. I hate situations where I need to suffer in some way (could be boredom sitting through some event) in order to show respect or the yiddish word ‘coovid’ (kavod – respect). On the other hand if you need something from me that can make a difference I am definitely there for you and will put in the extra effort. But might not send a greeting card.

Perhaps you should start by aiming for a strike rate of one blog post per month. Perhaps the exact same date each month for publication. That could be a good focus for your writing discipline. Get a precise number in your head and work to it. What would be a good number, a positive number, a ‘special’ number? Whatever number works for you is the special number. It isn’t 32. Choose wisely.

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