Long before Albert Einstein came up with the theory of relativity, the fact that “everything in life is relative” was well understood by former generations. Take for example the famous story about the Rabbi and the goat:

A man goes to his Rabbi and complains about his house. “Dear Rabbi”, he says, “my house is way too small. It’s 500 square feet and it hosts my seven children, mother in law, and a nail salon”. The Rabbi listens attentively and says: “I have a solution to your problem. First thing tomorrow morning go to the market and buy a goat. Be sure to keep it inside the house, not outside in the yard. In less than a week things should improve dramatically for you. If they don’t, come back and we will see what else can be done”. The man freaks out inside, but tries to keep his cool. Can’t dispute the Rabbi…. He goes out the next day and gets a goat. A week from hell goes by, and after the goat has eaten all the furniture, books, and drapes, the man goes back to the Rabbi all anxious and sleep-deprived. When he walks in, he falls on his knees and begs “Dear Rabbi, you are a man of wisdom, but I’m not sure that the goat is a great idea, it’s eating everything the house and literally smells like…”. “No worries!” the Rabbi interrupts him, “I was just about to tell you to take the goat out…. come back again in a week, and tell me if things got better “. The man thanks the Rabbi, and goes home relieved and smiling. When he gets home, he gives his wife a big wet kiss and sends the goat out. The following week when he comes back to the Rabbi he’s as happy as a clam: “I don’t know what magic you worked on the house, but it feels at least twice larger!” 🙂 That’s relativity theory in action…

GoatWell, I did not get a pet goat when I came back home, but I did get my first dog. A Jack Russel Terrier puppy called Daisy (see picture), a 4 lbs biting and chewing machine. Both my wife and I grew up in a city and did not have a dog growing up, so we had no idea what we were getting into. In the four days since Daisy joined our family I’ve been waking up each morning a little after 5am (bark “ringtone”) to go out in below-freezing temperatures and wait for her majesty to go (“good pee-pee Daisy!”), then feed her, give her medicine, food supplements, and clean up after her,only to go back out again. I am exhausted, and even the memories I have from the Israeli army pale in comparison… And still – the well-known fact is that a pet brings peace to your life. And it seems very true. Dr. Marty Seligman, the founder of the Positive Psychology movement often says that “if you want to be happy – help someone”, and who needs more help than a little pup?

I came back from the Ride very different, and I expect to see many changes in my life. In the first week after being back I got a dog. I can’t wait to see what comes next. Hopefully not a goat.

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