Sunday, April 30, 2006


Let's do a little experiment. Over the next couple of days pay attention to your conversations. On the phone, in person. With strangers, friends, your spouse. Start counting how often you use the word "I" or "me."

One of the best books I've ever read (and continue to review) is Dale Carnegie's "How to Win Friends and Influence People." There are no big chiddushim in his book, but in a self centered world, where everything is "I" and "me" he reminds us that there are others in the world. The key is realizing other people have interests too.

Borrow or better yet, buy it. We're in middle of sefirah. Before you know it the 3 weeks will be upon us, and then Elul. But how can you really ask someone for forgiveness, how can you expect to get along with anyone else, if everything is "I" and "me?"

It's such a great book that, Marc Shapiro, in his latest work, Saul Lieberman and the Orthodox, notes that R. Dessler often used Carnegie's lectures, sometimes word for word, in his mussar shmoozes.

Read it. You'll thank me.