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  Chapter 99 from
It's Not As Tough At Home As You Think
Making Family Life Smoother and Better

By Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski 

Other Available Chapters
4  22  27  30  78  85  95 

Where Are You Going?

I have alluded to the importance of having goals in life. It would seem only logical that people should know what they want out of life.

Here too we may be dealing with a side-effect of the scientific and technological advances with which we have been blessed. We have been given so many things that we have been distracted from concentrating on goals. Instead, we are more preoccupied with methods.

The 1960s witnessed the phenomenon of dethroning G-d. What need is there for G-d when science and technology promise to give us whatever our hearts may desire? People who thought this way did not realize that science and technology can provide only the how of living, but not the why of life. In fact, the term “teleology” was considered obscene. Science was focused on methods, not on goals. Alas! A life devoid of a goal cannot be a happy one.

The marvels of rapid transportation have given primacy to the method of travel rather than to the destination. It may sound ridiculous, but we are often more concerned with how fast we can get somewhere than with what we will do when we get there. Charles Schulz captured this phenomenon in this charming comic strip.

Right! Many people want to be the first one to get there. Why they want to be there and what they intend to accomplish there are secondary in importance.

My father’s counsel was sought by many people. He had few periods of respite when he was not interrupted by a telephone request for help. In those days, travel was by train. There was a high-speed train that made the trip from Chicago to New York in 16 hours. My father avoided that train. Instead, he took the “milk train” that made a stop at every hamlet on the way. This was the only escape he had from the telephone.

Can anyone imagine asking a travel agent today for the longest flight rather than the shortest?

We should indeed be grateful for the many conveniences that science and technology have given us. Every day there are new gadgets, some of which actually seem silly. Let us not be so focused on the means of life that we do not give adequate thought to the goal of life.

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