Thinking about the Sermon - Parshat Vayeshev
It's better to try and fail and try again than to try and fail to try again...
This is the message we taught in synagogue last Shabbat as we discussed Reuben's failed attempts to improve his parents' relationship. Maybe that explains why he didn't have the strength to return Joseph to his father and sufficed with having him thrown into a pit.
Do you find that there are times in the past when you have tried to help someone else but it didn't work? Or maybe it made matters worse? How does that affect your attitude when you have the opportunity to help someone today? Do you politely decline or give half-hearted assistance? Or do you muster the strength to help them in the best way possible?
Explore this idea further. Read how Stephen Covey uses space travel as a metaphor for understanding difficult beginnings. Watch Steve Jobs' famous commencement speech in which he talks about the three blows of fate that shaped his life. And read Matthew Syed's article on how we betray our children by making them afraid to fail.
Apply these ideas to your moral and spiritual life. Are there things you could be doing if you weren't afraid of disappointment?