Why Weren’t You More Like…

A classic story tells about the great Chassidic Rabbi Zusha, who was found agitated and upset as he lay on deathbed. His students asked, “Rebbe, why are you so sad? After all the the great things you have accomplished, your place in heaven is assured!”

“I’m afraid!” Zusha replied, “Because when I get to heaven, God won’t ask me ‘Why weren’t you more like Moses?’ or ‘Why weren’t you more like King David?’ God will ask ‘Zusha, why weren’t you more like Zusha?’ And then what will I say!?”

This comic (from XKCD, one of my favorites) is, perhaps, a more modern retelling of that story.


Having a role model is a great idea. It gives you a real world example of how dedication and excellence in a particular area look. But it’s just one example. Have lots of role models – lots of examples of how someone is “successful” in a particular way.

But keep in mind what Zombie Marie Curie says in the last two panels.

Or in the words of Yoda (another great Jewish thinker), “Do or Do Not. There is no try.”

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