The Shabbat Bell
I just returned from a wonderful Shabbos in Jerusalem. The people were incredible, the discussion was interesting and the food was delicious. An interesting thing happened this Shabbos that demonstrated a common theme in life.
As I walked into the family's house I was eating by for lunch I noticed a little ding in the background. Every few seconds a ding would flow out of the kitchen. The stove bell must have broke in the middle of Shabbos and there was no way to shut it off without breaking Shabbos. The ding could be heard as we ate our meal but it did not intrude on our meal, at least overtly.
After the meal a few of us were conversing on the couches and one of the guys said, "Wow, that ding is really annoying!" This young man's comment is really an insight into human psychology. I recently read a great piece by Rabbi Pliskin on this topic in "Gateway To Happiness."
A popular observation states, "Nothing is as easy as it looks. Everything takes longer than you expect. And if anything can go wrong, it will, at the worst possible moment." When you are mentally prepared for events (without being nervous or anxious), you will find them much easier to cope with. If you always expect things to work out the way you wish, ask yourself what is the basis for your expectations. When you realize there is no basis for your expectations you will find it easier to give them up.
What this young man did not realize is that most things do not go according to plan. He was annoyed with the sound because he expected that everything would go according to his plan. The world does not work this way and the more we realize this the happier we will be.