22 Av 5781 / Saturday, July 31, 2021 | Torah Reading: Eikev
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You're Fired    

You're Fired

We lament how unfair it is that we have unwelcome changes in life. But are we in this life to coast? The life G-d gave us has many settings, but cruise control isn’t one of them…


I heard a story the other day about a guy whose luck didn’t run out, it ran him out.


He was an entry level clerk who loved his job. He did it well for a few years until one day he was called into the office of the head of the company. The meeting went something like this:


“Hi Stanley. How are things?”


“Things are great sir. I love my job.”


“Good. You’re fired.”




The boss became passionate.


“You are way too smart to be shuffling paperwork all day. I have seen you handle this job, the people in your department, even me with such professionalism that it’s a crime to keep you here in such a position that is, quite frankly, beneath you. Now go make something of yourself and stop being comfortable in the cellar.”


Stanley always wanted to be a programmer. He never tried it before because he thought he wasn’t smart enough.


But this shock to the system was just what he needed to get going. He signed up for a night course. Then he went to his boss and asked for his job back. The boss took him back on the condition that if he failed or dropped out, he would be fired. Stanley was frightened because he didn’t know if he had the smarts to become a programmer.


Knowing that if he didn’t succeed he would be out on the street, his fear became his best friend. He gave it everything he had. He discovered that programming was a second nature to him and he exceled. He graduated top of his class, and got a new job at the same company.


All because his boss fired him for becoming too overqualified.


Baruch Hashem


How many times in life do we get fired by Hashem? Sure, we see it as a layoff, or a break up with someone, the end of a friendship, or your business going bad. It can even be a social group shunning you because someone made up a story that everyone believes. But in reality, it’s Hashem disrupting our status quo in life.


We lament how unfair it is that we have an unwelcome change in life. But are we in this life to coast? The life G-d gave us has many settings, but cruise control isn’t one of them. We aren’t supposed to accept too much harmony – it means Hashem isn’t happy.


The 1% think they sit on top of the world, but they have the least incentive to grow, or to change. They have the same responsibility to be humble, to talk responsibly, and to perform mitzvot. Their wealth may be the biggest obstacle to all of it. Their ability to buy numbing agents like television, alcohol, even luxury that blind them to the messages Hashem is sending them makes it harder for them to acquire the great spiritual wealth the rest of us can stock up on all our lives.


We are the fortunate ones.


If we get good at something, the greatest blessing is to be challenged with something better. It doesn’t have to be power, or money.


It can be a new level of learning. It can be a new situation, often a more difficult one, that we have to handle by exerting our emuna muscle to the max and strengthening it. It can be falling to the bottom of the social ladder, even in disgrace, and discovering who you can truly count on. It can be like Stanley, where an unforeseen setback forces us to make a bold decision to leap forward.


As long as we remember Who really did this to us, we know that everything in life is an opportunity to move forward. That’s when the setback becomes a springboard.



* * *

David Ben Horin is the author of Thank God for IsraelZionism that Pays the Rent, and The Great Life Hack which you can have it for free! I also write first class content for startups, non-profits, and businesses of all sizes. If you are in the market for some great copy, check out my portfolio.

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