Two German personal development Youtubers are having beef. In the Youtube language, BEEF means QUARREL.
I don’t want to go into all the details of the present beef. However, one of the two Youtubers published an ebook where he writes about his rather strange idea of how the world works. He claims that the world is evil and that everybody around you just wants to bash or destroy you. The guy had a difficult childhood and is now telling people how one can still become successful in life. You find a lot of those guys on Youtube these days but most of them are anything but successful.
What this Youtuber proclaims is to ignore or even wipe out your past. He, for instance, used to be fat and only played computer games. This was his life. Somehow he changed everything and is now a vegan guy with muscles and a small Youtube channel. In his ebook, he apparently bashed fat people as well as Let’s Players.
When I heard that a personal development Youtuber is telling his audience to wipe out their past, I couldn’t believe it. At the same time, this idea reminded me of something going on within the Ba’al Teshuva movement. The idea to ignore or wipe out one’s past is nothing new.
Can we really get rid of our past and if so, how does it work?
Lets say that a Jew was raised in a secular lifestyle and he doesn’t know anything else. Suddenly he becomes a Ba’al Teshuva and it doesn’t matter whether he is turning to the haredi or to the Mizrachi (national religious) world.
As soon as this particular Jew starts his Teshuva (repentance) process, he will automatically meet other people. People just like himself. He will start to change his life. Have new friends, a new environment and maybe even a new neighbourhood. His entire life is going to change slowly and he develops new values. Before he maybe liked to party, eat non-kosher food and do whatever he felt like. G-d didn’t play a role in his life. With the Teshuva process, life starts to look different.
I have met Ba’alei Teshuva who were ashamed of their past and didn’t want to talk about it. They probably thought that only the memory could drag them down. Who knows? Maybe they start missing certain things as soon as they talk about their former life.
So, is it possible to wipe out the past?
On the one hand yes, because we all have to focus on the future. How we improve and how we find the life which makes us happy. On the other hand, we simply cannot get rid of our past. Never, as it always follows us wherever we go. It all depends on how we look at our past. If we simply accept it and say: “Hey, this is my past but now I am a different person” – or if we are nothing but ashamed. The first solution is the best and causes you to concentrate on your future without any negative feelings.
None of us can change the past and even if our previous life wasn’t as great as we wished it could have been, there is no reason to jump onto people who don’t follow our path. We cannot expect everyone to do what we do. Even though we try to convince others. We all have to accept that every Jew is different and not everyone is willing to do Teshuva. We think that our way is the greatest of all ways but someone else thinks that his life is just as good. So, there is no reason to bash him.