The Talmud states, “Hold no person responsible for what they say in their grief.” This is not an excuse to behave badly, or treat others inappropriately, it is simply a statement, and reminder, that the world, our world, is in pain, and too often we take out, without meaning to, our frustrations on those closest to us, because we have no real way to express, or deal with, our inner pain and repressed sorrows that come with the unyielding stresses of everyday living.
The statement, “Hold no person responsible for what they say in their grief” is not about excusing the cruelty of someone close to us, but rather, an inner challenge to BE BIGGER THAN THEIR SORROW, to grow wiser than their pain and to become the empathetic person we long to be.
We like to believe that love, friendship and marriage is some per-destined arrangement with built in guarantees, but life, like love is “not all sunshine and rainbows”. The true essence of “hold no person responsible for what they say in their grief” is G-d’s ultimate challenge to us, for IT IS OUR ACTIONS NOT SOMEONE ELSES that will be how our OWN SOUL will be judged. Therefore, we can rise above our hurts, hold our dignity, and raise another up to our inner highest empathetic self, or we can fall into their “grief”.
Who we truly are is revealed, not in times of ease, but in moments of challenge. What we claim to be, and what we are, too often are not one and the same. To be healer, a loving soul, a person of supreme character comes only from HOW WE REACT when we are challenged.
True empathy goes beyond the norm. It challenges us to look into the deep pain, and suffering of those closest to us, and say, “I understand the depth of your pain, and I understand your frustrations are but shadows in the higher light of human love and existence.”
The human soul, in grief, crying out in pain, lashing out to those around them, needs not cruel words, distance and judgment, but much more so, needs understanding from a place of G-dly Love, a place that should be where we all live, at all times, but too often are do not.
It is written that one day, G-d “Shall pour out His Spirit upon humanity.” But until that day, it is up to us to be the shining examples we long to be, not only for ourselves, but for others.
John F. Kennedy said, in this life “A good conscience is our only sure reward and history the final judge of our deeds; so let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking G-d’s Blessing and G-d’s help but knowing that here on earth, God’s work must truly be our own.”
No challenge, for humanity, has ever been, or will be, greater.
It is up to you,
Eric S. Kingston