How a spiritual leader used Acknowledgment Principle #3 regarding jealousy and acknowledgment

I was deeply touched when I received this living example of Acknowledgment Principle #3 from a Rabbi who read The Power of Acknowledgment.

“Dear Mrs. Umlas,

I want to thank you for the inscribed copy of your book, The Power of Acknowledgment,”” he wrote. “It is an extremely thoughtful–and helpful–work. Only a few minutes ago I got off the phone with an old friend of mine who lives in Boston. Although we entered rabbinical school together, he has authored about twelve books and is still going strong. About a month ago a beautiful and most flattering review was written about his most recent book. After reading that book some months ago, I wrote him a very complimentary letter, telling him how much I had enjoyed his latest. But now, when I read what his reviewer had to say, I was very impressed and toyed with the idea of calling and congratulating him. Yet I wasn’t in any rush to call him. Perhaps there was a touch of envy there in that I myself had written only one book! However, having read what you wrote about handling such a situation, I determined to pick up the phone and enthusiastically share his accomplishment.

Which I did. Well, not only did he sound surprised and pleased at my call, but I, too, felt very good about having called. He has been a good friend since Seminary days many years ago, and my phoning him as I did must have made him feel as I did, that our relationship was still a good and strong one. All of this thanks to you and the impetus you gave me to overcome my rather envious thoughts.

Again thanks ever so much for the copy of your book, and for the practiucal use I have already put it to.  Hoping to see you before long if and when you visit our minyan, and with all good wishes.”

 What courage this spiritual leader displayed, which enabled him to overcome his own very human and understandable response to his friend’s success! We can all take courage and inspiration from his example, which brings to life the power of acknowledgment. 

Happy holidays to all of you who are celebrating, and consolation to those of us who are seeking spiritual comfort at this challenging time of year. I just lost two very dear, elderly parents in the last two months, and have found great comfort in revisiting and rediscovering my spiritual roots. Wishing us all peace, inspiration and a wonderful year ahead!