In A World Of Do It Yourself


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By Rabbi Robert L. Kravitz –

What a world! On TV, we watch Do-it-Yourself programs. In the large “box stores” we are shown how to do it ourselves. In congregations and religious gatherings we are told how to do it ourselves. Even sports equipment maker Nike says, “Just do it.”

If everything were that easy, we wouldn’t need all those guidebooks, videos, DVD’s and ‘self-improvement’ manuals. If our human responsibilities were so easy, we wouldn’t constantly rely on the best information from others.

So, I guess life is not so easy that we can do it by ourselves. Possibly we do require some assistance from others – human, animal or spiritual.

When an Assistance Animal passes by, doing its job, we smile and think well of its training. When a friend asks for help, what do we do? We should immediately open our wallet, our heart, our home – depending on the need. Do we? What often happens is mental-gymnastics. We think about the issue. We analyze the problem. We pre-plan what we are going to say. We formulate suggestions that should alleviate the problem. And by then, too often the friend has moved on.

Were we to do it ourselves, respond ourselves, answer-up ourselves the world might be a happier place. “Justice delayed is justice denied” were the words of Supreme Court Justice Learned Hand. By drawing the parallel, we should be ready to do what is right and proper, now.

Delaying what is right, planning to plan, holding off on a reply until it is analyzed ad infinitum deny applicants what they need most, our immediate assistance. Hopefully, each of us will someday grow to where we can do it ourselves, and based on sound principles and reliable knowledge, do it right.

Rabbi Robert L. Kravitz, D.D. is known Valley-wide for his nearly three decades of support for civil and human rights, and the efforts of law enforcement. He regularly lectures on related subjects, while working part-time as Hospital Chaplaincy Coordinator for Jewish Family & Children’s Service. Contact him at

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