Sunday, July 21, 2013

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Do You Remember Me?

Do You Remember Me?

 

     I helped this young man put on tefillin. He kept smiling, and then finally asked, "Do you remember me?"

 

     I talk with hundreds of people a week. For me to remember who is who would be amazing. "I remember your face, but not the details," is my standard reply.

 

    "Look, I took the earring out!" He happily turned his left ear toward me. "See?"

 

    "Hey, you look great. Wow! Look at you. Now I see you instead of your earring."

 

    He hugged me and said, "Something you said stuck with me. Thank you so much, really. I'm in medical school, and you told me that I should look like a doctor, not a cool kid. You said that people want to rely on a professional, not someone who needs an earring to make an impression…that I should stand out for my deeds, not a piece of jewelry."

 

     When he turned to leave, he was laughing, and said, "And I'm going to wear the pants in the family!"

 

     He was referring to one of the ways I try to get the kids to take out their earrings. I ask, "When you get married, who's going to wear the pants in the family?"

 

     They always answer, "Me! I am!"

 

     "Then, who's going to wear the earrings?" I ask.

 

     They always crack up laughing. They try to say, "Well…both of us…," and I quickly say, "It doesn't work that way. Either you wear the earrings and she wears the pants, or you wear the pants and she wears the earrings."

 

     I grabbed his arm and squeezed it, "Okay, now here's the next step. When you are a doctor you should know that you are doing G-d's work. G-d is the One who heals, not the doctor. This is why sometimes you see that you give two people with the same disease the same treatment, and one survives, but the other one doesn't. G-d is the Healer. He gives the doctors permission to treat the patients, but he reserves the actual healing to Himself. So when you treat people, remember you are helping G-d to help His creation."

 

     He liked what I said. I could see that he took the words to heart.

 

    Just like the doctor can only give the patient the proper medicine, but he cannot decide who will live, so it is when we give good advice to someone. We can only give the right advice in the right way, but whether they accept it or not is not up to us.

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