EVERY PERSON MUST SAY TO HER/HIMSELF:
“THE WHOLE WORLD WAS CREATED FOR ME”
ONCE I REALIZE THAT THE WHOLE WORLD WAS CREATED FOR ME,
I MUST, AT ALL TIMES, BE SEARCHING FOR WAYS TO DO TIKKUN OLAM,
TO FILL UP THE HOLES IN THE WORLD, AND TO PRAY ON HER BEHALF.
– LIKUTEI MOHARAN 5:1
It is up to us.
There is a famous teaching of Reb Simcha Bunim that states, “Each person must walk through the world with two pieces of paper in their pockets. In one pocket, a paper with the words, “The whole world was created for me,” and in the other pocket, a paper with the words, “I am but dust and ashes.” Around the same time as Reb Simcha Bunim was teaching this teaching in Poland, Rebbe Nachman of Breslov was teaching in the Ukraine. His magnum opus was a collection of teachings called Likutei Moharan (the teachings of Moreinu Harav Rabbi Nachman),
and in the opening of the fifth chapter, he writes,
“Every person must say to themselves, ‘the whole world was created for me.’ Once I realize that the world was created for me, I must, at all times, seek out ways to do tikkun olam, and to fill up the holes in the world, and to pray on the world’s behalf.”
There are so many layers to this teaching. What stands out to me the most is the fact that not everyone has the privilege of being able to say “the whole world was created for me.” But if you do have the privilege of being able to say those words, it comes with the utmost amount of responsibility to do something about that. To find ways to change the world. To “fill up the holes in the world.” Rebbe Nachman teaches that there are holes in the world that each person is uniquely suited to fill up, and that only we can help the world in that particular way.