Everyone is Different
Pinchas (Numbers 25:10-30:1 )
It is fascinating to think that out of the billions of people on planet earth, every single individual is entirely unique. Fingerprints, the most widely used biometric identifier are a clear example of this. And it's amazing to note how billions of faces are all different too!
Our uniqueness does not end with our physical make up. The way we think, feel and view the world is individual too, and influenced by many factors, such as upbringing, education and personality traits.
When dealing with people, it is important to remember these differences.
When Moses was told that he was about to die, he said to God, "You know that the mind of the individual is not similar to that of another. Appoint a leader over the congregation who will be able to deal with every individual according to his mind" (Bamidbar Rabba 21:15 cited by Rashi).
A true leader is someone who understands every person on an individual level, and deals with each one accordingly.
But this message is not just for leaders.
In our day-to-day interactions it is very important to remind ourselves that everyone thinks and experiences the world differently. Taking a step back and trying to understand someone else's perspective can prevent arguments, fights and even hatred.
We can also apply this message to the way that we help individuals. Gary Chapman in his book ‘The 5 Love Languages’ explains that everyone’s ‘love tank’ needs filling with something different. Whereas one person appreciates gifts as a gesture of love and friendship, for someone else an hour of quality time would mean a lot more.
"Deal with each individual according to his mind..."
A message not just for leaders but for each one of us.
(Torah idea from Love your neighbour by Zelig Pliskin)