By Kollel Guy
There is a well known personality in Flatbush who is always involved in raising tzedaka for those in need. He works tirelessly to raise as much money as he could for those he helps. Everyone who knows him is amazed at his unbelievable devotion to others, especially given the fact that raising money is not something that is too popular.Given all that, you would think that here is an example of someone who goes above and beyond his duty – a living example of a person who does everything he can – and more – to help other people in a way that no one else wants to. What more could be expected of him?
His Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Elya Svei zt”l said about this person that he only does about 1/4th of his capacity to do chessed. “If he would try hard enough,” said Rav Elya, “he could do 4x as much chessed as he does now.”
Shocking words – but of course they are very true. Everyone, even the most accomplished people in the world, have the capacity to do more. Not just a little more, but a lot more. Multiple times more. How? By constantly improving oneself in multiple different ways, one can dramatically increase the output one does.
As an example, software programmers are well aware of the fact that a great programmer is not just a little better than a not-such-great-programmer. They are 10x better! For every line of code that a mediocre programmer writes, a super programmer can write 10x as many lines.
How did the good programmer become 10x better than the mediocre one? By constantly improving his method of delivering code, which took years of practice and skill. We all can become multiple times better at what we do, as long as we constantly strive to improve our ability to deliver good results.
The lesson to be learned from the words of Rav Elya, is that one should never rest on their laurels by thinking they have done enough. If the biggest ba’al chessed in Flatbush could do 4x as much chessed, how much more can be realistically expected of us?
It works both ways as well. If you take the lesson of constant improvement to heart, it will put you not just a little bit ahead of the competition, but multiple times ahead of them.