So simple, so profound
“It is not upon you to finish the work, but you are not free to desist from it.” (Mishna, Ethics, 2:21)
Consider how often people set brave and ambitious goals for themselves. Oftentimes, achieving these goals requires not only extraordinary effort – they require that other people also exert extraordinary effort for you, that the planets align just right, and that seemingly impossible things completely beyond your control actually happen.
Consider that you want to win an Olympic medal in backstroke swimming. That’s your goal. You work hard and train every day. Your coaches say you can do it. I’m sorry to say that, no matter what you do, it still just might not happen. Maybe you wake up with a little cramp on the morning of the race. Maybe your taxi arrives late to the swimming arena. Maybe someone else…
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