Section:  Avodah   Category: Innocent Observations
Respect The Little Monsters

Kids today! My mother always says if she lived in today's times she would never have any kids. "Impossible to raise normal kids in today's society" she cries. Dear Mother, I respectfully disagree. Today's children according to the gemara are the holiest neshamos ever to walk the face of the earth. It's true that a quick glance at what's going on will cast serious doubt on this theory. In fact, we as children growing up seemed to live in utopia compared to what goes on today. Only one kid from my eighth grade graduating class went "off the derech" but even he, has since come back and is one of the finest Bnei Torah of his Kehilla. Forget drugs, we didn't even have any smokers. Looking back it seems like we were a bunch of angels (relatively speaking).

So how, with all the trials and tribulations that parent face today, can someone have the nerve to get up with a straight face and say that the little devils giving us a run for our money deserve a great amount of respect because they are far greater than we are??? Simple. The gemara says (Succah 52a) "Kol HaGadol MeiChaveiro Yitzro Gadol Heimenu"; whoever is greater than his friend has a similarly greater Yetzer Hara. Rav Chaim Vital explains that the higher place in Shamayim that a neshama comes from so too does his Yetzer Hara come from a comparably high level. So for every ailment that we see in our children we must know that it is simply an indication of their greatness.

This world is the ultimate human endurance test. It is a test to challenge us to the limit. There is no mercy. Hashem throws at us everything we can possibly handle. Looking around at what the world is throwing at our children they are obviously quite a capable bunch; much more so than we were. You see, it works both ways. If you cannot handle a certain Nisayon then it is not given to you. So my wonderful classmates and I, whose only vices were putting gum on the teachers chair and maybe smoking a few puffs of a cigarette on Purim, were obviously not all that impressive in Hashem's eyes. Hashem shielded us from things that obviously would have put us far over the edge without any chance to stand up to the challenge. He left the heavy lifting for our great children who have the power to navigate the dangerous waters they swim in today.

So do we just stand up for our tzaddikim every time they walk into the room and let them run amok? Of course not. The first step is to know and appreciate what and who we are dealing with. To marvel at them and cherish them. After understanding the incredible potential and kedusha inside of them we must nurture it and coax it out of hiding. This way, rather than be mad and frustrated and write off an entire generation, we can be proud parents and producers of the finest generation ever.

About ourselves, take heart in the fact that Hashem thought enough of us to entrust us with such an interesting bunch of neshamos:)

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