The People v Sophistication

Updated: Jul 6, 2020

If you even think of calling yourself an intellectual, sophisticated chossid, you are thought out. You can explain everything you do in simple words, almost like this was a class you have been preparing for a couple of weeks. If the lucky recipient of this explanation asks you about the right idea, you may even spice things up and quote a Medrash.

Always a crowd-pleaser. (By the way, we know who you are, and we know you didn't find that Medrash all by yourself.)

I'm here to stick up for action. It's been getting beat up for years in the playground of sophistication.

Naturally, we are as simple as children. Everything is virtually brainless action, simply because we will get a Laffy Taffy or an iPad, depending in which decade you grew up. The logical reaction to that is when we are exposed to the intricacies of thoughts and feelings; we utilize it to make things more complicated. The result, if done right, is beautiful. It becomes a different mitzvah or idea that we once thought we knew.

Sometimes though, or maybe often, our intellect and feelings are not on the same page. There is an endless back and forth, deciding what is the best thing to do at this moment. Our feelings seem as authentic as reality itself, and our brains challenge that with real logic.

It's a stalemate, except we cant walk away from the chess game, even when we try.

So action is the owner, while intellect and emotions are the CEOs. On a day to day basis, they are running the show. But who makes the big decisions, who can take the company anywhere he/she wants it to go.

The man with all the money.

Yes, action can seem dry, but at the end of the day, action leads to real experience, and that's the language our body understands. Firstly, while thoughts and feelings can seem more relatable, there is a certain powerful effect exclusive to action. Even when done reluctantly, action can shift our perspective on things.

Secondly, action, in a certain sense, with all its simplicity, is more profound than our mind and heart.

We know what we want, but we get in the way of our selves. Action says enough is enough, I know what I want, and while my CEO's are not holding there, I'm making an executive decision.

So what's deeper, what expresses the person more? Sophistication, and complexity, or getting it done? It probably depends on the situation. But clearly, action is far from cheap. Action is the person in the room, ready to do what needs to be done.

What we want sometimes needs to be dug out of the hole that reaches deeper than the complications that our mind and heart present to us.

Action is the author, and everyone else is the character. Action dictates where the story goes, and that's deeper than anyone in it. We cannot deny that whatever we say or think, our action has a massive effect on us, and can sway things more then we realize.

All of this is especially relevant to us, the people of this generation.

Chassidus calls the generation before Moshiach, "The heels of Moshiach". Obviously, that's us. So were dumb, unsophisticated Yidden that should just do, and not think?

Definitely not.

We are the action-based generation; we are controlling the direction of the narrative. We are smart and deep, and we should use that to grow in our Yiddishkeit.

However, our biggest asset is that we can do something substantial, and nothing is more profound than taking the body where it needs to go. With our (even sometimes dry) action, we carry the body's entire weight, including its sophistication.

Without us, the CEOs can be in meetings the entire day and get nothing done.

No one wants that.

Not even them.


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