Tiferes Shebehod – Empathy in consistency
Joke: What’s the difference between a good lawyer and a great lawyer? A good lawyer knows the law, a great lawyer knows the judge.
Consistent people need to be rigid to a certain degree, particularly towards themselves - refusing lavish temptations of all sorts. But do not let your consistency and self-mastery make you aloof, insensitive, obnoxious and judgmental. Remain empathetic to the conditions and challenges of other people. Respect their circumstances and their journeys which may have an entire different set of challenges.
You must also be empathic to yourself. Despite your rigidity, in order to maintain your schedule and objectives, do not become obsessive. Retain your balance and sense of humor by understanding that what may be called success in one area might be defined as failure in another one. Have empathy for the inconsistencies of human life so that you don’t freak out when you are called on to change course.
- Rabbi YY Jacobson