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  • Writer's pictureJordan Drayer

The Love IN Discipline

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Chesed of Gevurah

Hi everyone, Jordan Drayer, the discipline-loving savvy millennial voice actress. Today is one week and one day of the Omer. We finished the seven aspects of loving-kindness, Chesed, and now we move on to the next middah or sefirah, which is Gevurah, again meaning might, discipline, and judgment. So all this week we'll look at different aspects of discipline, going in the same order we did for Chesed last week.

So that means we start with Chesed of Gevurah, best translated as love in discipline, not love of discipline. That's actually something we want to avoid, a love of discipline, as in loving putting people down, hindering them all the time... yeah, don't be that person, like some kind of strict teacher or parent that everyone looks back on and hates. It's amazing how much difference prepositions can make.

Anyway, the love in discipline. This is different from last week's discipline of love. That one was more like how you hold yourself back from spoiling kids or from being overly disciplined. This time we're focusing on the other person. When you discipline them, like telling kids what not to do, do you give an age-appropriate reason? Saying "because I said so" is so old-timey and not helpful.

When you criticize a friend or loved one's performance or art piece, are you doing so in a way that will help them better themselves or can at least be received by them?

What I mean by this is, let's say it's a trumpet recital. If you say, "Yeah, you were too loud," how helpful is that? Now they'll either be annoyed by you or be self-conscious at performances thereafter. But if you give a reason, like "it was too loud in that part where the piano had the melody," then you're helping the trumpeter to be a better musician.

And of course in this example, you might need some musical training to give a critique like that. So I'd say, don't give any honest opinions unless asked if you're not trained in that area.

Or if it's a painting, don't just say "I don't get it; it's just a blob," maybe instead ask questions of the artist. "What does this represent?" "Why did you choose that color?" Like unless you're an artist yourself, in a way, your critique doesn't matter much. Sorry, not sorry.

Of course you're entitled to your opinion, but if you don't like it, don't go shaming the person. If they ask, "What do you think," you can then give your opinion because it's been asked for, but even then, try to describe why you don't like it. Don't just say, "I don't like it." Maybe it'll inspire the artist to do something different.

Our critiques need to provide value to the person and be given in a loving way, a curious way maybe if it's something you're unsure of or don't like. And disciplining kids too, the reasons must be clear; rules need to have been stated before several times, as well as the reasons for those rules. We want our loved ones and other people to be the best they can be, so try your best to elaborate why you think something, or why we have these rules, instead of just getting mad willy-nilly.

For today, try to be aware when criticizing or disciplining someone whether the reason is clear and out of love. Are you helping them to become better in a way they can see for themselves (not the kind of "you'll understand one day"), or are you simply showing your distaste and annoyance to them? I mean, of course knowing something we do is annoying or distasteful is helpful too, but anyway, try to be careful with your words is all I'm saying. Good luck!

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