by Reb Gutman Locks @ Mystical Paths
Some of us were born with, or developed greater than normal limitations. There are certain skills that we do not have. In these areas of life we cannot perform as other people perform, and we usually need help to do those activities.
Once a year, a Special Needs class stops by my house for breakfast. They daven neitz (pray at sunrise) at the Kotel, and then come by. I enjoy their company. I tell them funny or interesting stories, things that I have done over the years. They have a good time. But in between the happy stories I also slip in some important advice.
I explained that everyone comes into this world with certain skills, and certain limitations. Usually, the limitations come with a skill to compensate for what we cannot do.
For instance, I am one of the world’s worse spellers. Also, I cannot stand to read (let alone follow) computer instructions… YUCK! They drive me up the wall. So, in a number of ways I am quite limited. But, as if to make up for this limitation, I was also given a gift of creativity. I am good at improvising, or inventing different ways to do things.
My job in life is not to try to develop the skill of spelling, or to learn how to follow technical instructions. I’m sorry; it’s just not for me. I get a computer spell-check program, or a friend to help me. But instead of worrying about what I cannot do, I try to bring my creative skill into the world. I find better or more interesting ways to do things. This is what I came into the world to do, not to spell.
I told them to look for the special things that they are good at and to stress those things. Maybe they have extra kindness. So they can spend their days being kind to whomever they meet. I explained that there are many people in the world who would never listen to someone like me, but they would listen to them. They might be able to bring someone to do a mitzvah when I couldn’t.
Everyone has something they are good at, and this is what we came into the world to do. Don’t worry about the skills that you do not have, but stress the ones that you do have.