You, in a circle, with schmutz!


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  2|40 RabbiBrian 

You, in a circle, with schmutz!

A lesson in virtues 

I want you to imagine that the to the circle pictured on the side is you.Your entire sense of self, just for this little exercise, fits into this circle.

The totality of everything in this circle is you.

Now imagine inside this circle is a little bit of schumtz (schumtz: Yiddish for a little bit of dirt).

There is just a piece of schumtz in the “you” circle. It might be a failed relationship, a sense of incompetence, or any thing else you didn’t really want to associate with “you.”


Now, imagine another piece of schmutz gets in.

And, some more.

And, a little more.

With effort and work, you can get some of the schmutz out. Other schmutz seems to magically disappear.


But then more schmutz shows up.

Sometimes, some of the schmutz already in our circle festers, goes rancid and actually gets larger.

Sometimes our life feels filled with schumtz bad things that have happened to us in our lives.

At times, we can’t get that schmutz out fast enough.

I’d like to suggest a solution, stemming from an idea I got from a mentor of mine, Larry Lincoln — instead of only trying to clean out our sense of self, we can also make our sense of self bigger.

When we enlarge ourselves, the schmutz can seem smaller and we have get some more breathing space.

When you expand yourself, your problems feel minimized because of the larger amount of space.

How we can make our lives bigger

Here is a list things you can do to make yourself bigger:

1) Be virtuous

2) Do good

3) Be compassionate to yourself and others

4) Give love

5) Accept love

If you can do these things in your daily life you can expand your sense of self. In the end it will make your life a little bit easier, giving your more space and room to breathe.

Of course, while we are expanding our sense of self, more schmutz will come in, more schmutz will multiply and some more schmutz will disappear seemingly on its own. Some we’ll have control over, and some we won’t. But, as so long as we keep our eyes on the prize – being the highest sense of ourselves, then the schmutz won’t sullen ourselves so much.

Think of the people in your life who embody virtues – either people you know or know of. If they can do it, so can you. Emulate goodness.


This week’s wisdom_biscuit:

Strive to be the most virtuous person that you know.

With love,


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