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Thursday, 23 December, 2010 - 10:16 am

A recently conducted survey by the creators of Facebook found that the most common status update is the term “fml.” We’ll leave the ‘f’ open to your interpretation, but the ‘m’ and ‘l’ stand for ‘my life.’ With one twelfth of the world’s population using the website-- approximately 500 million-- Facebook has become the largest cyber country in the world. Why are so many people frustrated with their lives? Makes me wonder what can possibly be affecting such a broad span of the population and, more importantly, how did they get to this point?

The Torah portion of Sh’mos relates the concern of a young Moses for his Jewish brothers. While visiting them one day, he witnessed an Egyptian taskmaster striking a Hebrew. Seeing no one around, he killed the Egyptian and buried him. The next day he encountered two Hebrews quarrelling and asked one, “Why are you about to strike your friend?” To which the man retorted, “Will you strike me as you struck the Egyptian?” Upon hearing this, Moses grew very afraid that Pharaoh would find out, which in fact he later did.

The Torah is renowned for its brief, concise terminology. Since every word holds dozens of secrets and lessons, the Torah scrupulously avoids adding in even a single superfluous letter. The question here is, why did the Torah see fit to share the emotional state Moses found himself in? Of what benefit is the knowledge that Moses was afraid?

The lesson the Torah wants to teach us is the power of thought. We all know the saying, “Think good and it will be good.” The Chassidic masters taught that the power of positive thoughts lies not merely in the fact that they lead one away from negative ones, but rather that when one thinks positively, he literally draws down G-d’s blessing. Positivity breeds positivity-- by thinking good one places his full and unequivocal trust in G-d, urging Him to oblige. The problem is, is that it works two ways. So when Torah tells us the Moses was afraid, it concludes by saying that Pharaoh did actually find out. Because Moses triggered it.

So for all those “fml” users out there, take note. Negativity is a catalyst for more negativity. Instead of starting your day with “fml”, why not try “lml” – “LOVING my life?”

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