aish.com > Spirituality > Growing Each Day

Av 30

May 21, 2009 | by Aish.com

Good things can be accomplished with either a great deal of pomp and ceremony, or with a great deal of quiet and modesty. Some people like to call attention to themselves, while others go about their business without being noticed.

While both may have the same result, there is much to be said in favor of the latter method. Ostentatious performances are likely to arouse envy, and those who begrudge one's good works may attempt to undermine them or to upstage them. Critics seem to come out of the woodwork. Things that are accomplished in a manner that does not provoke attention are more likely to take shape and establish themselves firmly.

The Talmud uses the Ten Commandments as an example. The first Tablets, given at the Revelation at Sinai with thunder, lightning, and much fanfare, did not survive. The second Tablets, given to Moses in virtual silence, remained with the Israelites for centuries and exist to this day in the Ark which was hidden prior to the destruction of the First Temple.

We may feel an urge to make a public declaration of some worthy deed, but when we do it primarily to serve our ego, it is as unwise as it is unnecessary. When we do good deeds, the feeling of achievement that they bring should be reward enough. We should not need the acclaim of others to tell us that what we have done is good. We would do well to leave the noisemaking to the proverbial empty kettles.




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