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There's nothing on earth. 

Yes, that's a sentence. More correctly phrased, there's no thing on earth. Well there are things, but we shouldn't focus in them.

If we can truly internalize that idea, we're sure to get somewhere in life. The realization that there is no thing on earth will help us be successful, help us deal with people, help our relationships and put us on track toward happy, purposeful living.

Why?

Everything on earth has a 'thing' side to it. 

We call something (or someone) a thing when it ceases being a living, independent being in our eyes and becomes a 'thing'. When we stop valuing someone for who they are and start valuing them for what they can do for us, they become a 'thing'. When the doorman becomes the door-opener, when the mail man becomes the mail, when the barista becomes the coffee, when the babysitter becomes free time without the kids, they go from being people to being things.

So, as I was saying, there are no 'things' on earth. While it is true that every person, every animal, plant and object has a unique way which it can be useful to us, that is only the shell of its existence.

The Torah uses two words to describe the power through which God created the universe nearly 5779 years ago. The first word is speech - God created the world with his words. The second word is desire - God created the world with his desire, i.e. he really desired that our world come into existence. Both of these are true; God created the world with his speech and his power of desire.

Speech is a very shallow expression of ourselves. We can speak about someone or something but really think something completely different about them. Of course we can use speech to accurately describe how we feel too, but it's not necessarily so. 

Desire on the other hand, is a much more accurate description of what's going on inside of us. When we truly desire something, it sheds light on our deepest self, for that is where the power of desire comes from.

With his power of speech God created the shell of every creature - that shell being what we can do, how we are useful to others. But that's just the shell. God used his power of speech to create the 'thing' in every thing (in Hebrew the words for speech and thing are identical).

With his power of desire, God created the soul of every creature, thereby giving it an inherent, indestructible value far beyond what it can do to be useful to others.

It is on this inherent value within every creature that we should focus our attention. Of course we need to focus on their 'thing' side too - if you're looking to hire someone you need to make sure that they're fit for the job - but that shouldn't be the way we see them.

We should see every person, every animal, plant, object and even every moment in time for the Godly spark within them that makes them irreplaceable.  

So yes. There is no thing on earth.

There are, however, people, souls, individual experiences, thoughts, moments, breaths, emotions, prayers and laughs. It's worthwhile to focus our attention on them.

Rabbi Avrohom