Sensitivity, Even When the Going Gets Tough
Vayigash (Genesis 44:18-47:27 )
Yosef had been sold by his brothers as a slave, imprisoned in Egypt, and then in an unexpected turn of events promoted to one of the highest positions in the land. In an astonishing story so clearly led by Divine providence Yosef's brothers also found themselves in Egypt, in a search for grain during a difficult famine.
Not realizing that the Governor in Egypt that they had been dealing with all along during their stay was their long lost brother, it was finally time for Yosef to reveal his identity to them.
Overcome with emotion, it would have been easy for Yosef to simply announce who he was in front of everyone present. However, even in the heat of the moment he was sensitive to his brothers' feelings and asked the Egyptians to leave the room so that his brothers wouldn’t be shamed about their sin of selling him in front of anyone else.
An incredible example of self-control and sensitivity.
When people are emotionally excited, whether the situation is a happy one, or God forbid a challenge, it is very easy to be so absorbed in what is happening that the feelings of others are forgotten.
A true master of the art of kindness will not forget.
Such a person will have trained him or herself to be so acutely aware of the feelings of those around them, to the extent that even when the situation is challenging, or there is no time to think, their reaction is still of utmost sensitivity.
(Adapted from Love Your Neighbour by Zelig Pliskin)