JWR Outlook

Jewish World Review July 25, 2002 / 16 Menachem-Av, 5762

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“The winged birds think that there is no purpose for the snare.”

                        —   Proverbs (1:17)

http://www.jewishworldreview.com -- The bird sees the food it craves. It pays no attention to the net that surrounds it. What does the bird think when it sees the net around the food? Was it not placed there to close and trap it when it goes for the bait? But the bird ignores the net. It is single-mindedly drawn to the bait. The snare clamps shut. The bird loses its freedom, and perhaps its very life.

We are often drawn to things that promise us pleasure. We may be so focused on the lure that we are oblivious of the snare which may surround them.

Addicts are drawn to cocaine, heroine, or alcohol and are oblivious of their dangerous and even lethal consequences. Like the bird, they ignore the snare that will close and trap them. The compulsive gambler, indeed every addictive personality, is oblivious to the total destruction that is likely to follow his indulgence.

Ignoring the potential harm when we give free rein to our desires is by no means exclusive to addicts. We often make unwise judgments because our desire for pleasure blinds us to the potential harm of our actions.

Birds do not have the ability to reason, hence they are easily trapped. We can exercise our ability to think and analyze. We can avoid the dangers that lurk behind some pleasures. We must be alert and give much consideration to our actions.

Abraham J. Twerski, M.D. is a psychiatrist and ordained rabbi. He is the founder of the Gateway Rehabilitation Center in Pittsburgh, a leading center for addiction treatment. An Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, he is a prolific author, with some 30 books to his credit, including Wisdom Each Day, from which this was excerpted (Sales of this book, which can be ordered by clicking here, help fund JWR). Send your comments by clicking here.

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