Chesed Shebehod – Kindness in consistency
Joke #1: An Englishman, a Scotsman and an Irishman met up for their lunch break every day at work. One lunch break, the Englishman says "Oh no! Not egg sandwiches again! If I get egg sandwiches tomorrow I'll kill myself!" The Scotsman opens his and says "Oh man! Not tuna sandwiches again! If I get tuna sandwiches tomorrow I'm going to kill myself!" The Irishman opens his and exclaims "No way! Potato salad sandwiches! AGAIN! If I get these tomorrow I'm going to kill myself!"
The next day they all met up again, and the Englishman opens his lunch. "Egg sandwiches!? Right then!" he yells and throws himself off a cliff. The Scotsman opens his lunch. "Tuna sandwiches again! Thats it!" and he shoots himself. "What? Potato salad again?" cries the Irishman upon discovering his lunch, and he hangs himself.
At the funeral, the wives were huddled together crying. "I don't get it," said the Englishman's wife. "Why didn't he just tell me?" The Scotsmans's wife agreed. "I know, he should have just said something. I don't understand it!" The Irishman's wife joined in. "I don't understand!" she said. "He made his own sandwiches!"
Joke #2: A man came home from work and found his three children outside, still in their pajamas, playing in the mud, with empty food boxes and wrappers strewn all around the front yard.
The door of his wife’s car was open, as was the front door to the house and there was no sign of the dog.
Proceeding into the entry, he found an even bigger mess. A lamp had been knocked over, and the throw rug was wadded against one wall.
In the front room the TV was loudly blaring a cartoon channel, and the family room was strewn with toys and various items of clothing.
In the kitchen, dishes filled the sink, breakfast food was spilled on the counter, the fridge door was open wide, dog food was spilled on the floor, a broken glass lay under the table, and a small pile of sand was spread by the back door.
He quickly headed up the stairs, stepping over toys and more piles of clothes, looking for his wife. He was worried she might be ill, or that something serious had happened.
He was met with a small trickle of water as it made its way out the bathroom door.
As he peered inside he found wet towels, scummy soap, and more toys strewn over the floor. Miles of toilet paper lay in a heap and toothpaste had been smeared over the mirror and walls.
As he rushed to the bedroom, he found his wife still curled up in the bed, reading a novel.
She looked up at him, smiled, and asked how his day went. He looked at her bewildered and asked:
“What happened here today?’”
She again smiled and answered, “You know every day when you come home from work and you ask me what in the world I do all day?”
“Yes,” was his incredulous reply.
She answered, ‘”Well, today I didn’t do it.”
Personal Question: What is your reaction when you are ready to go to the Bar-Mitzvah on time but your spouse if not ready?
Often, consistent and disciplined people become intolerant and unkind to others who they perceive as not being on par. In our attempt to live responsibly and consistently, we become rigid, terse and snappish.
You live by the clock. When you arrive home, hungry and tired, you are ready for dinner. But dinner is not even close to being ready. Do you lose your patience and snap?
It is good to be consistent and rigid with yourself. Yet remain kind, cheerful and good spirited to others who may be in a different place in life. Don’t allow your consistent and disciplined life style turn you into a grouchy and rigid party-pooper.