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Sarah lived to be a hundred and twenty-seven years
old. — Genesis 23:1
I was once in the home of a woman who is an art
professor in New York City. I couldn’t help but notice
a very unusual piece among her drawings and
paintings. The “work of art” was a single cigarette butt,
mounted onto a piece of black velvet, enclosed in a
beautiful golden frame. When I asked the woman what
inspired the art piece, she chuckled and explained
that she made it in order to teach her students about
the value of a frame. Anything can become beautiful –
even an ugly cigarette butt – when placed in the right
What the art professor said is true about art, and it is
also true about life. How we judge the content of our
life is determined by how we frame it. Do we view our
lives in the context of how much we grow? Or do we
see it in terms of how much we gain? The context we
give our lives will determine how we see its contents.
Try this: Reframe your life. Try to see everything that
has happened so far and everything that you hope for
the future in terms of how much you have learned and
how much you will continue to grow.
When you start with a beautiful frame, your life will be
the masterpiece!
With prayers for shalom, peace,
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein

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