Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews -- For those who like their news and truths frank and sharp

Don’t be stingy, and you’ll be rich

Possessiveness and greed breed scarcity and poverty

Some people are so scared to not have enough. From fear of poverty, they try to grab as much as possible. Unfortunately, it will never be enough. And it will never satisfy. They are doomed to feel deprived.

But there is a way for everyone, the poor and the wealthy, to feel rich.

The Sages say: Be happy with what you have.

I have an addition to that. Give up on any fixation with receiving enough or even getting anything at all. Spend your time giving.

However

Don’t give away so much that the people who depend on you get nothing. Charity does start at home. Yet, don’t just give to ‘your kind of people.’ That still seems like keeping all the goodies for yourself.

Yet, don’t give away your basic needs and a little reserve unless you’re already surrounded by generosity. You also may want to hold on to a little extra to have a little freedom. Don’t hoard — grant to yourself.

Trying to live more modestly, don’t go overboard and do/throw away stuff you’d come to regret (childhood pictures). Ask your best friend.

While everyone deserves your smile, be thoughtful and don’t give stuff to people who can’t handle it. Don’t give money to a drug addict, friendliness to someone who finds friendliness scary.

Don’t sacrifice your life. It’s better to live for ideals than to die for them.

Learn (Again) to Give

Don’t underestimate the test of being wealthy. The more you possess, the harder it’ll be to be generous, and so, to feel rich. (And when you ‘made’ a lot of money, a lot of people lost money — you want that?)

Reject religious, anarchistic, and Buddhist blanket denial of ownership. When no one owns, generosity can’t flourish. Let’s at least own our time.

When you give to people, most people will return the favor. You won’t lack a thing. But don’t give in order to receive. Don’t invest. Give because you want to live in a world where generosity reigns and to be yourself and express your deep inner wish to give constantly and happily.

When you serve G^d, don’t do so for a reward. Don’t even do it because you should or must. Do it because you’d love to. And if it pleases G^d, He could reward you. But, that’s His responsibility to check, not yours. If He would not reward your effort, it would be hard to keep it up because that would be so unfair and unjust. And G^d loves us, so, He will reward us — no worry. But, don’t serve Him in order to get.

Do you really give to charity and people in need to contribute, or as an investment for a good return (a good name, awe, Divine reward)?

A place set up for prayers, organized, clean, with tables and chairs, light, possibly heating or air conditioning, books, may have a charity box for itself. But, your gift won’t be philanthropy. It’s payment for rendered services, showing you’re grateful, that you rather give than receive.

Reluctantly giving is better than not assisting at all. But you urgently need to find out how to give from the heart, not to build up resentment.

Be honest, not just with money but with everything. If you can’t say the truth, shut up, change the subject, or walk away. Don’t makeup stories. Only constant integrity can give you peace of mind and reliable friends.

Don’t work to get money but to do a good job and chip in. (If they underpay you, you can still demand a raise.)

Give young ones because you like to invest in the future. Don’t expect anything in return. If you wouldn’t get anything back, it will be hard to keep giving and not become bitter. But generally, people feel resistance to return a favor when they feel obligated. If the ‘free’ gifts weren’t exactly free but had expectations attached. Don’t calculate how much you’re entitled to, supposedly. Kids can never pay you enough, anyway.

And say thank you and feel grateful for everything you receive. For others to see your joy to receive and you not demanding gifts make it easier to give you more. But, you give thanks, not to get more (although it works like that), but because you don’t want to be ungrateful.

Have a partner whom to give all s/he dreams of and more. If needed, give your partner ideas about what you need. But refuse to spend your prime relationship grabbing, demanding, and grumping about whatever you supposedly lack. If your partner is unwilling to become generous, split up and seek someone else who can dare to be generous too.

When you receive something, it’s nice as long as it lasts. But, when you freely give someone anything, you may remember that forever. If you really want to receive, give.

And, don’t sweat the small stuff. A smile, compliment, wink, thumb up.

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, previously a daily blog contributor to the TOI. He often makes his readers laugh, mad, or assume he's nuts—close to perfect blogging. As a frontier thinker, he sees things many don't yet. He's half a prophet. Half. Let's not exaggerate. He doesn't believe that people observe and think in a vacuum. He, therefore, wanted a broad bio that readers interested can track a bit what (lack of) backgrounds, experiences, and educations contribute to his visions. * This year, he will prioritize getting his unpublished books published rather than just blog posts. Next year, he hopes to focus on activism against human extinction. To find less-recent posts on a subject XXX among his over 1400 archived ones, go to the right-top corner of a Times of Israel page, click on the search icon and search "zuiden, XXX". One can find a second, wilder blog, to which one may subscribe, here: https://mmvanzuiden.wordpress.com/ or by clicking on the globe icon next to his picture on top. * Like most of his readers, he believes in being friendly, respectful, and loyal. However, if you think those are his absolute top priorities, you might end up disappointed. His first loyalty is to the truth. He will try to stay within the limits of democratic and Jewish law, but he won't lie to support opinions or people when don't deserve that. (Yet, we all make honest mistakes, which is just fine and does not justify losing support.) He admits that he sometimes exaggerates to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quite a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * Sometimes he's misunderstood because his wide and diverse field of vision seldomly fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what some love about him. He has written a lot about Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (including basic statistics), Politics (Israel, the US, and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight reality), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, LGBTQIA+, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), the Climate Crisis, Ecology and Veganism, Affairs from the news, or the Torah Portion of the Week, or new insights that suddenly befell him. * Chronologically, his most influential teachers are his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach, and, lehavdil bein chayim lechayim, Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff, and Rav Meir Lubin. This short list doesn't mean to disrespect others who taught him a lot or a little. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, and disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed. He aims to bring a fresh perspective rather than harp on the obvious and familiar. When he can, he loves to write encyclopedic overviews. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds should be disputed. In short, his main political positions are among others: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, anti those who abuse democratic liberties, anti the fake ME peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, pro-Science, pro-Free Will, anti-blaming-the-victim, and for down-to-earth, classical optimism, and happiness. Read his blog on how he attempts to bridge any tensions between those ideas or fields. * He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (https://diethylstilbestrol.co.uk/studies/des-and-psychological-health/), born in 1953 to his parents who were Dutch-Jewish Holocaust survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork. He grew up a humble listener. It took him decades to become a speaker too, and decades more to admit to being a genius. But his humility was his to keep. And so was his honesty. Bullies and con artists almost instantaneously envy and hate him. He hopes to bring new things and not just preach to the choir. * He holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam) – is half a doctor. He practices Re-evaluation Co-counseling since 1977, is not an official teacher anymore, and became a friendly, powerful therapist. He became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years, he was active in hasbara to the Dutch-speaking public. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second-generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having an original peek outside of your cultural bubble. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me.
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