The Wisdom of a Rabbi

A troubled man went to see a wise Rabbi. “Rabbi,” he said, wringing his hands, “I am a failure. More than half the time I do not succeed in doing what I must do.”

“Oh?” said the Rabbi.

“Please say something wise, Rabbi.”

After much pondering, the Rabbi spoke as follows: “Ah, my son, I give you this wisdom. Go and look on page 930 of the New York Times Almanac for the year 1970, and you will find the peace you are looking for.”

This is what the man found on page 930. It was a story about Ty Cobb, arguably the greatest hitter in the history of baseball, with a career batting average of .367. The story emphasized that, though Cobb had the highest career batting average of any player in history, he made an out nearly two-thirds of the time.

The man returned to the Rabbi, filled with wisdom and thanksgiving. “Thank you, Rabbi,” he said. “I see your point. Though I don’t always succeed, I succeed some of the time. I will take that to heart, and rejoice in my successes, rather than dwelling on my failures.”

The next time you step into the batter’s box and take a swing at life, remember Ty Cobb. And remember the wisdom of the Rabbi.

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