Hello Rabbis, I’ve been wondering about this and hope you can clarify… People are given self-awareness so that we have some idea of our strengths and weaknesses, and so we can usually identify when we fall, and what traits we have to fix in ourselves. Some people are more aware than others. However, I’ve noticed that some people seemingly lack ANY amount of self awareness in them– they are open about how they have NOTHING to work on, and they genuinely act as though they have zero sense of what they are doing wrong every day, and how their actions impact the people around them… So my questions are: how does Gd expect people with no self-awareness to ever work on their flaws? Could it be they are exempt? And if they are not exempt, it seems unfair to them that they have no idea that they have any flaws. It’s not their fault that Gd created them with no self awareness… Thank you for your help!
One of the reasons why man was created is in order to attain perfection, and perfect our personalities, and our neshoma. He gave us a wonderful tool – our brain, and he also gave us the capability to think. Some people have more of a natural tendency to realize their faults, and others may have a harder time at it, however everyone on their own level, has the capability to think honestly. The sages tell us “lev yoida moras nafsho” “the heart knows it’s shortcomings”. A person who says that they have nothing to work on, is either lying, or never stopped to think about what areas need improvement. (Such a person can ask his friends and they will surely have long list to give him.)
Besides this, there are many, many resources that the person can refer to, that will help out in this area. Just a few examples, take Pirkei Avot, Mishlei, Orchos Tzaddikim (The path of the Righteous) Mesilas Yisharim (The path of the Just), to name a few. When one reads these works, it will become clear that there are many areas of one’s personality to perfect and work on.
Even if some one isn’t very self- aware, however everyone has life experiences, when one realizes that a mistake was made in dealing with someone or with a certain situation. After someone hurts someone else, they usually realize it. The person might not apologize because it is uncomfortable doing so, but the person realizes it. People naturally realize that there is a need to be considerate to others, and when they aren’t, they know they did something wrong.
No one was created with all the knowledge needed to get along in life. An engineer is not born knowing physics, nor a doctor knowing medicine. However, when one wants to learn, and accomplish they go to learn. It is the same thing with self-perfection, it has to be studied, leant and mastered, even for those who don’t have a natural knack for it.
G-d gave us numerous resources to help us help ourselves, and it is our job to do the work to accomplish this job.