By taking an honest look at the world around us, we will find that it is lacking in the area of morality and proper human ethics, one could conclude that there has been a major reduction in their teaching and observance in homes, religious, and educational institutions. Mortality and ethics are quickly dying out, Mayberry has almost disappeared.
If our world is to be repaired, we have to begin with ourselves. The mess we are in began with individuals making a choice to live by base animalistic drives, so, one by one it is up to us to fix it.
So where do we start? We have to start by bring morality and ethics back into our own lives first, we do this by becoming conscience of our behavior and willing to make changes where needed.
In Hebrew this is called Mussar, “ Mussar is typically defined as ethical teachings. That is, the field of mussar is devoted to character and behavioral improvement.” Rabbi Ephraim D. Becker, Ph.D.
This topic has been an interest of mine for a while now. I began taking a closer look at my behavior and others as they try to coexist with one another. I began to witness how I treated and thought of others, and how this impacted my own life and those around me.
As my walk and knowledge of the Creator grows, the topic of mussar is a reoccurring theme . Since I am one who loves to study, I began searching for a book on the subject, so I could take my time digesting, learning and begin applying its principles to help me improve my own character traits.
The more I dig into it’s information, I knew I wanted to share it with my readers. God willing I hope to take you on a journey with me to learn about and improving our character traits. Just maybe together we can begin to impact our lives and those around us.
Below is a story I found early on in the book, it is a great place to start, it gives us something to meditate on.
“Quality Control: A few years ago, I had the opportunity to be kashrus supervisor at a soda bottling plant. Standing there in amazement, watching thirty-two hundred soda cans and bottles filled and capped per minute, something interesting caught my eye. An inspector wearing a long, white coat who was overseeing the operation, randomly plucked a can or bottle off the conveyor belt. I followed behind as he walked into a laboratory where he began performing all kinds of experiments with the beverage. He placed some of the liquid in test tubes, poured some into a decoding machine and also drank some to check the taste. Finally, I asked what these procedures were about. “I’m checking for the right amount of sweetener, the proper measure of syrup, and the correct balance of carbonation to flavor,” he said. “Quality control, Rabbi, Quality control.” it struck me like a ton of bricks. So much research, so much checking of a can of soda. How much more so must one measure the exactness of his thoughts and actions for quality control of his middos (character traits).” Rabbi Avrohom G. Yachnes
What a great idea, a personal Quality Control department of our own. Where we are the inspector, taking our character traits that govern our morality and ethics into a lab and testing them to see if they measure up to the Manufacture’s specifications.
So much research, so much checking of a can of soda. How much more so must one measure the exactness of his thoughts and actions for quality control of his middos (character traits).”
Terry W. Hayes
Photo Credit: Austin Distel on Unsplash