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How To Get Bigger

November 11, 2014

Great stories with valuable lessons are worth and need repeating.  The story below is certainly one of them, so here it is again.

There were two young brothers ages eight and ten. The younger brother was the taller one. We all know, and men certainly remember that for boys height is really important. So naturally the older, shorter brother was very jealous of his younger, taller brother.

One day, while playing in the backyard, the older, shorter brother pushed the younger, taller brother into a little ditch. This wasn’t done in order to hurt or knock him down, but rather to make him appear shorter. At which point the older, now looking taller brother gave a “Nah, nah, nehnahna, I’m taller than you!” Their father, a Rabbi, witnessed this and called over the older brother.  The Father told him to bring over a chair and stand on it.  The boy complied and then asked why he was standing on a chair and his father said,

“Whenever you want to be bigger, you raise yourself up, instead of pushing someone else down.”

This is from a true story that we can all store as a reminder for and to ourselves.*  In addition if we see someone pushing someone else down, in any form, we might share this story with them as a subtle hint.

We climb our mountain by always elevating ourselves.  We do it by elevating ourselves in all that we do. We do not do it at the expense of anyone else, but for our and everyone else’s benefit.  On that climb we may also inspire others to have the strength to make their climb.

*When I originally posted this I said “I have no recollection of where I read it .  I wish to apologize for not giving proper credit to the true author.”  My Rabbi (a real Rabbi) has now reminded me – see below

The story is attributed to the 5th Rebbe of Chabad-Lubavitch. Rabbi Shalom Dov Ber Schneerson. He recounted the story of his youth that happened with him and his older brother, Zalman Aron. He subsequently became the Rebbe instead of his older brother as well.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Matt permalink
    November 11, 2014 2:21 pm

    Good work, again, Freddy, my old, taller, friend. I think I’ll use your counseling to do my own counseling, again. Matty .

  2. Helen permalink
    November 11, 2014 10:22 am

    Enjoyed that story

  3. November 11, 2014 9:28 am

    Beautiful Fred, thank you. The story is attributed to the 5th Rebbe of Chabad-Lubavitch. Rabbi Shalom Dov Ber Schneerson. He recounted the story of his youth that happened with him and his older brother, Zalman Aron. He subsequently became the Rebbe instead of his older brother as well.

    • Fred Fox permalink*
      November 11, 2014 9:42 am

      Thank you and thank you for reminding me

  4. Jocko permalink
    November 11, 2014 7:46 am

    Thanks, Fred. This dovetails with your story about “Moishe,” i.e. try to be the best “you” you can be.

    With all of the early pushes I got to excel (relative to others) e.g. “starring” in Little League, getting on the honor roll, knockout out SAT scores, I know that I grew up feeling a little deficient when I ended up not so high on any of those lists. Luckily, some folks helped out and encouraged me to just “do my best” and in doing that, I found some peace….and thus “success.”

    Your teaching today bolsters that again–and it’s worth thinking about–even as I enter my 70th trip around the sun.

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