Posts tagged " challenges "

Too Ill to Work?

March 6th, 2018 Posted by Ask the Rabbi 37 comments

I just completed the audio version of Business Secrets From The Bible. In one word the content was wonderful. The book spoke to me.

My dilemma is unique. Because of serious life threatening physical challenges and learning issues it is difficult to work a so called regular job. 

I need and want more money and I sincerely desire to serve my fellow man and in that mix I can honestly say that retirement is not an option. What you say about retirement in the book is true. It’s detrimental to a man’s mental, physical and spiritual life. 

I need and want help in this area. In other words I want to get back to work now. 

Do you have any suggestions? It’s fine with me if you have tough words so please don’t sugar coat reality. 


Larry A. G.

Dear Larry,

First, thank you for your kind words about our book Business Secrets from the Bible: 40 Success Strategies for Financial Abundance.

The most challenging aspect of writing answers to people who “Ask The Rabbi” is to make sure that we are responding only from a place of love and empathy.  Nonetheless, our duty frequently includes telling truths that can hurt, as truth often does.   Not only does ancient Jewish wisdom prohibit us from administering painful words with arrogance and indifference but in such circumstances,  the Help we receive from Heaven would undoubtedly be withheld.  You can see that even had you not invited us to tell you the tough truth without sugarcoating we would have done so once we were certain that we were writing with compassion and a spirit of wanting you to be uplifted.  By the time you get to the end of our words, we hope you’ll agree that we have provided you with the escalator by means of which you can lift yourself. 

Since we don’t know you, what we have to go on is only what you told us. You told us what you cannot do, but not what you can do. You said nothing about your skills or experience, only that you cannot work a “so called” regular job. You ask for suggestions but tell us nothing of what you have to offer.

The phrase “so called” in this context usually imply a skepticism about the object of the sentence.  It’s as if you don’t believe a regular job exists.  Why didn’t you write merely “it is difficult to work a regular job”?  Why is it ‘so called’?  Do you perhaps, deep down,  feel some contempt for a regular job?  Or perhaps you mean a 9-5 job and that if you can’t do that, you have no options? Again, that would be focusing on the negative rather than the positive and possible.

One phrase jumped out at us and we think may be the key point. You inform us that your dilemma is unique.  No, Larry, as painful or debilitating as it is, it isn’t unique!   We don’t need to know the details of your dilemma to know that you are not the only person in the world with that particular dilemma or one of similar severity.

Each of us, as a creature of God, is unique.  The symbols of our creativity, our fingers, are unique.  Our thoughts are unique, but our challenges, problems, and dilemmas are far from unique.  And what is more, others with exactly the same dilemma as you, have overcome and triumphed.  You can too,  once you rid yourself of untrue thoughts, false ideas and bad beliefs.

We want to see you invert your thinking.  Instead of leading with, “I want more money” and then following up with “I sincerely desire to serve my fellow man” we want you to be intuitively thinking, “I really want to serve my fellow humans and I know that the money will follow if I do.”

Here is a critically important and frighteningly true statistic:

98 out of 100 people failing to find work fail, not because of a shortage of jobs but because they manifest a  shortage of conscientiousness, punctuality, desire to serve, diligence, humility, cheerfulness and ambition.  We’re sure that you, like so many of us, are handicapped by one or more of these seven shortages.

If you really and truly desire to serve your fellow man, you could quickly find a way to do so.   It is possible you are hampered if you have found an easier way of living….and you didn’t confide in us just how you are currently paying bills. It is terribly difficult to give up an easier way of life for the demanding and ultimately satisfying life that comes from doing a good day’s work for a good day’s pay even when you recognize that it is damaging not to be earning one’s way.  

You are clearly a decent man with core of honesty.  Most people don’t even care about self-respect anymore, preferring to substitute the fake self-esteem. But you desire the real thing.  That is wonderful.  Now all you need is a launch pad.  If you haven’t worked for a while this won’t be easy but it is entirely within your ability.  Get rid of the mistaken notion that you are uniquely handicapped in your quest for work.  From any job, no matter how far it may be from your perfect choice, you can later move towards a better option or some entrepreneurial activity but this is much, much easier after you have already succeeded at a job. Dig deep into your heart and discover which of those seven shortages you experience and cure them. 

No matter what your challenges are, Larry, we could show you someone somewhere equally challenged or who is suffering from worse handicaps and working productively. We are happy that our book launched your query.  It is wonderful that you are not complacent about your situation or content with your lack. 

Now is the time to “reach for the sky”.  This by the way, was the title of a book by a pilot, Douglas Bader, who during the crisis of the Battle of Britain in the summer of 1940, got the Royal Air Force to put him in the cockpit of a Spitfire fighter aircraft,  in spite of the fact that his legs had been amputated a few years earlier.  Here was a man who had a dilemma.  It wasn’t unique but it was certainly a challenge.  But it didn’t stop him from shooting down record numbers of enemy aircraft neither did it stop him organizing and participating in several escape attempts from German prisoner of war camps after he had bailed out of his damaged aircraft and been captured.

So please know that if you really want to earn money—you can.   If you really do, go for it and reach for the sky.  Please let us know how it goes.

With confidence in you,

Rabbi Daniel & Susan Lapin

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