Sometimes a mitzvah is simply planting an idea into another person’s psyche for them to embrace and possibly utilize.
It is always exciting to me when an original thought leads to new endeavors. Sometimes I am the one to suggest an idea to a friend and even more often I am the recipient of a nudge or idea that pushes me to do something out of my comfort zone.
Two examples jumped out at me when I was thinking about this today. The first example simply enough is that I probably wouldn’t have ever decided to write a book without a kind, young Rabbi putting the thought in my head. He suggested this to me when I was about a year or so into the mitzvah project. His mere suggestion that I consider writing a book, allowed the idea to float around in my head as I tasted the concept and toyed with it as a reality. Ultimately, I took the steps I would need: writing a book proposal, attending a writers conference, working with a writing coach and finally finding an agent and publisher, to actually publish a book.
Last week, an old and dear friend suggested I contact a specific literature professor we’d had in college, when I mentioned that I’d like to get back to our college to speak about the book and the 1,000 mitzvahs project. For whatever reason, contacting that professor seemed scary and uncomfortable and her calm, reassuring manner made me take the leap of faith and contact my professor, who delightfully called me back that same afternoon.
Being that reassuring friend, suggesting an idea or possibility to our friends, colleagues or family members and letting them know you’ll be by their side can be just the support they need to take that leap of faith. So this week if there is an idea you’d love to share with a friend or colleague to lovingly nudge them into action do so and perhaps it will be just the thing they need to set a new opportunity in motion.
With gratitude for all those gentle and not so gentle nudgers in my life.