A line from the Talmud – 200 words project

Here is this week’s 200 words project:


“As she speaks about her plans, quietly and with assurance, a line from the Talmud comes to mind: If I am not for myself, who will be? If I am only for myself, what am I?”

Denise Shekerjian about Dr. Joan Abramson in the book Uncommon Genius: How Great Ideas are Born, author Denise Shekerjian


If we never take care of our own basic needs, if we don’t take care of our own mental health, if we are never our own champions, if we never pick ourselves, then who will?
A horse can be led to the water, but cannot be made to drink – as an often quoted quote says. And so it is important that we take care of ourselves, make an effort to know ourselves, our needs and wants, and we take that step towards ourselves – because nobody else can.

On the other hand, the other extreme, if we focus exclusively only on our needs, our wants and desires. If we completely forget to care about the other people in this world. If we never step up to help someone else, never help to lead the horse to the water so it can have an option to drink. If we never pitch in to make the world a better place, then who are we? Are we even human? Can we respect ourselves then? Will we be happy even if we get all that we need and want? Is that a desirable way to live?

At first glance, the two ways of living, might appear contradictory. But are they? Without me fulfilling my daily needs, I cannot possibly help myself. And one o the basic needs of us humans is connection, and love. And for that we have to help others – maybe just the near and dear one s- but help we must.


About the 200 Words Project

Once every week, on Monday morning, I will post my ‘200 Words Project’ post where I will ruminate on some idea which caught my interest in the current book I’m reading, or maybe (sometimes) from a blog post or podcast – in 200 words or more, never less!


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