Wealth and honour, strength and wisdom, are all positive things we may aspire to have. Nevertheless, not all of us are born with great intelligence. Most of us are not born into richness or honour or we may not have the stamina to be the top athletes. However, each and every single of us can acquire these virtues if we just reframe what these qualities truly mean to us.
Are you aspiring to be rich?
Material wealth is transient. The thrill of buying something new is lost with the itch of the next purchase. As a matter of fact one who has one hundred wants two hundred. There are wealthy people who are paupers, constantly hungering for their next windfall. Only when we have an inner contentment and realizing that what we have can we be truly wealthy.
…as well as to be respected?
Well, respect others! A person who respects others recognizes that every individual is created in G-d’s image. Sensitivity to human dignity is in essence showing honour to G-d. We can only give to others what we possess, but each of us has that essential dignity to honour others.
Sure, you want to be also strong!
Many animals possess far greater strength than even the most trained human; donkeys carry heavy loads, and lions are fierce warriors. However, human beings are unique in that we can become masters of our passions and gain self-control over our actions. If you want to be strong, focus on strength of character. “He who is slow to anger is better than a warrior, and a master of his passion is greater than a conqueror of a city” Proverbs 16:32
Unfortunately very few people nowadays are thriving towards WISDOM. That is so sad.
So, do you want to be wise?
Actually I know many people who score high levels on their IQ tests, but in practical they desperately are lacking the key life’s skills. Wisdom is one of them. So if you happen to change and start seeking for wisdom, thirst for wisdom, and you will become wise. Realize that you can learn something from every person, and every encounter will increase your intelligence.
The key is humility. Just as silver and gold come from the ground, likewise, we can gain knowledge from anyone, even those who seem lowly. Every person is a creation of a Divine and if this individual crossed your path, there is something you can learn from him (even if it’s what not to do).
Yo know, we don’t choose our life’s circumstances, nor do we choose what talents or abilities we are born with. But we can control how we react to our circumstance. Internalize and integrate these qualities into your personality, and you can acquire them all!
Who is wise? He who learns from every person …
Who is mighty? He who subdues his personal inclination …
Who is rich? He who is happy with his portion …
Who is honoured? He who honours others … (Avot 4:1)