I am not one to usually toot my own horn, or even blow my own shofar, but at the risk of sounding arrogant, I wanted to share with you something I did that I am proud of. You see, last Friday was a rather warm day in the Denver Metro area. We were well into the 70s, approaching the low 80s. When I went into my house I noticed it was uncomfortably hot. It was even hotter than a hot air balloon floating peacefully over an Alaskan Rain-forest. Naturally, I walked over to my Honeywell Thermostat to turn on the air conditioner for the first time all season. And as I tried lowering the temperature to a heavenly 67 degrees, to my chagrin, I remembered that for some mysterious reason my thermostat does not go lower than 72 degrees. As that unfortunate realization set in, I began to accept the fact that I would be spending the upcoming Shabbos shvitzing like a overheated porcupine in the Zimbabwean swamp lands.
In a state of sheer desperation, a thought flashed in my head like a bolt of colorful lightening: maybe it would be worth a shot to go ahead and call the kind folks at Honeywell to see if they could help me. Sure enough, oh Henry, that is exactly what I did. After dialing the number I spoke to a man, for anonymity sake we will call Carlos. Carlos patiently listened as I explained the issue. After putting me on hold for two minutes he gave me instructions. I followed his instructions and to my utter delight, I was able to lower my air conditioning as low as I wanted it. Apparently someone in the past had set it up such that it could not go under 72 degrees, and for many years that was the lowest temperature the thermostat could go-- that was at least until Carlos came to the rescue.
I genuinely was overwhelmed with joy. I pictured walking in from synagogue the next morning, eager to enter my house to escape the treacherous heat. And I envisioned that blissful feeling one experiences when walking into his colder than ice cold house on a hot summer day. Without thinking, I expressed my joy and satisfaction to Carlos, who was still on the line. I explained to him how happy he made me-- how I didn't think this thermostat issue was fixable without replacing my whole furnace. I told him that I had not experiences such joy since the day the Broncos won the Superbowl. I instinctively asked him if his manager was there so I could tell them how wonderful Carlos was to me. A bit taken aback, Carlos readily obliged and put his manager on the phone. I proceeded to describe in gory detail how helpful he was, and to express how I didn't understand how any human being in their right mind wouldn't turn Honeywell when looking for a new thermostat.
Upon hanging up with Carlos's manager, a lady, for the sake of anonymity we will refer to as Chelsea, I heard the furnace kick into full gear. I ran to nearest vent and places my bear hand against it, feeling the ice cold air filling up my house. Basking in joy, I started dancing. I then decided it would be appropriate to take to Twitter. I recall many times reading angry tweets people direct to companies (usually airlines) complaining about the service. I decided to take to Twitter to tweet to my hundreds of followers (you, too, my dear reader can be included among them by following @dannywolfe1) a happy tweet, praising the Honeywell customer service.
As you can see above, I tweeted, and I know quote, "@honeywell_home I thought my thermostat was busted until your customer service guy saved the day! Great work!" Honeywell then responded, and that's when's I tweeted them the following:
The Talmud tells us a story in Shabbos 31A about a non Jew who wanted to convert. He came before the great Sage Hillel, who told him what he needs to know about Judaism: What is displeasing to you, don't do to your companion-- this is the entire Torah, everything else is merely commentary, Now go learn!
We see from this a very basic principle that the Torah itself alludes to when it says, "Love your neighbor like you love yourself." What we would want for ourselves we should do to others, and what we wouldn't want for ourselves, we should not to do others. That means that if I wouldn't want an angry customer criticizing me to my boss, I shouldn't be so quick to critique an employee to his boss. If I wouldn't want to be be pushed out of the line for kiddush, I shouldn't push my way to the front of the kiddush line. If I would not want to be spoken about behind my back, I should not speak about others behind their backs. If I would not want the entire audience I am speaking to during a sermon fall asleep, I also, should try my hardest not to fall asleep when other people speak. Conversely, if I would want other people to compliment my efforts to my boss, I should be quick to compliment workers to their boss. If I would want to receive an encouraging comment, I should be quick to give a nice comment. If I would want help shlepping groceries from my car, I should be quick to help others shlep groceries from their car. If I would want company and companionship when frolicking in a Kansas meadow, I should be quick to volunteer my time to friends in need of companionship. If I would want the Better Half to buy me some M&Ms from an Idaho rest stop on a long road trip, I should also be naturally inclined to buy her M&Ms at an Idaho rest stop, even if she didn't ask, and I am not a prophet who knows for sure what she wants without her communicating that to me.
Many times in life we are quick to see, and point out, the negative in other people. But our Rabbis also teach us that if we want G-d to give us the benefit of the doubt, we sure as heck better give everyone around us the benefit of the doubt as well. There is no doubt that if we take the time to acknowledge the good in G-d's children, G-d, will take the time so to speak, to acknowledge the good in us as well.