There is a popular talmudic lesson, each version with a slight different take, but it basically goes like this:

A man has been going around town making slanderous remarks about others. One day, he decides to change his ways. He knocks on the rabbi’s door. “I’m here to ask forgiveness and make amends.”

The rabbi tells him to take a pillow from his home, cut it open, and scatter the feathers to the wind. The man goes home, gets a pillow, cuts it open, and scatters the feathers in a field. He then returns to the rabbi and says, “I’ve done what you’ve asked. Am I forgiven now?”

“Almost.” The rabbi tells the man to go collect all the feathers.

“But that’s impossible,” the man protested, The feathers have already been scattered by the wind!”

“Exactly,” the rabbi replied. “The damage of your words is as impossible to repair as recovering the feathers.”

This lesson of forgiveness can transfer as a lesson of budgeting, too. The damage is done. But if you are serious about getting on track, and living within your means, knock on that door of commitment to yourself. Show up as if you really mean it. Acknowledge you’ve somehow created this situation, and scattered money in the wind. Then move on.


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