I sat down with a cherished mentor and we discussed reasons one enters and remains in a profession. People often enter and leave jobs because of other personalities. An inspiring boss, creative colleague, fantastic team. The opposite is also encountered. Demeaning experiences, frustrating interactions, and emotionally draining relationships.
My mentor explained that he stayed committed to his profession because he remembered, “It’s not— who is right? It’s—what is right?” He always remembered what he was working for and towards. People come and go but his purpose and passion remained steady and that was his light throughout his career.
Truly unhealthy environments require either leaving or engaging in a culture shift. But most of the time, a few difficult personalities cloud our judgment. We fall short of remembering the what…or the why. Why did we choose this path? What is the goal? What is the vision for the community? What is my role and why am I a contributor?
The Torah reminds us, “Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men that were upon the face of the earth.” The Chofetz Chayim comments, “The person who brought the Jews out of Egypt, who split the sea for them, and received the Torah from heaven, how could he possibly see himself smaller than anyone else?” He responds, “True greatness is measured not in the eyes of other people, but in the eyes of God…a person’s obligation, in the Service of God, is based upon how well they understand their obligation.”
Our worth isn’t measured by other’s standards or perceptions. Our continued commitments should be based on an understanding of why we are meant to walk through this world. What goal does God want us to fulfill?
True greatness comes in determining the what and the why…and feeling a holy obligation to both.
In partnership with The Jewish Journal, you can also find Rabbi Guzik’s blog post HERE.