Friday, December 29, 2006

Why the Need to Escape? (The Sequel)

In part one, I wondered how people can really "live," when they're not given opportunities to be heros, in the popular conotation of that word?

The truth is that we are given chances every day to live by fighting and toiling against evil and being victorious. Each of us has an enemy inside who wants to destroy us (like it says in Kiddushin 30b), and our earthly, comfort-seeking side would love to just go with the flow and not do battle. But by fighting every day to do the right things, not to do the wrong thing, to push out bad thoughts, and think good thoughts is a constant battle against a foe who's more persistent and cunning than any bad guy in a novel or movie. This bad guy never gives up on beating us throughout our lives. By winning that daily battle, we can fulfil that inner need for living.

But this type of "living," is a lot of work. It's much easier to distract ourselves with work by day, and lounge around with a good book or TV show/movie at night in order to feel vicariously like we're living. Fighting our inner enemy is a lot harder than watching other people fight outer enemies! So that easier, more comfortable option is the one we usually choose.

But for those of us who don't want to exempt oursevles from true life by only giving ourselves the feeling of living, we need to turn off the escapist pastimes, the movies, the TV, the novels, and truly live. Do some hisbonenus, learn Torah, clean the garage! Those other distractions just help mute the inner pain we have at not truly living by overcoming obstacles through toil and winning.

-Dixie Yid

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