The recess bell rang and the 5th grade boys rushed out of the classroom. They wanted to continue the ball game that they had begun during the morning break. Shimon weaved his way between the desks quickly, catching his jacket on a pile of books and sending them crashing to the floor.
"He's so careless," exclaimed Yehudah.
"Cares about nothing but the game," muttered Itzy.
Meir had been busy copying the homework from the blackboard. The sound of falling books caused him to look up with a start. Yehudah pointed an accusing finger toward the hall where Shimon had dashed out, but Meir wasn't looking in that direction. He was only concerned about the sifrei kodesh that were lying on the floor. He quickly picked them up and put them on the desk.
After school, Shimon walked home with Meir. "Thanks for picking up the books for me. I was in a hurry, you know, because of the game," Shimon said.
Meir shrugged. He didn't think he had done anything special. He saw something that had to be corrected and he did just that.
We should learn from Meir. We don't need to judge others, find faults, or blame people, when we can simply set things straight.
Books were knocked down? So pick them up, that's all. Don't make a fuss about it.
Meir was following the example set by Noach's two sons: Shem and Yefes. Noach planted a vineyard after he came out of the ark. Later, he drank the wine, which made his head feel heavy and dizzy. His third son, Cham, found him slumped down immodestly.
Cham ran to tell Shem and Yefes, who immediately brought over a blanket. Holding it between themselves, they walked backwards to cover their father, so that they would not see his immodesty.
Why does the Torah tell us that they did not see their father in this condition? Surely we can understand that someone who walks backwards cannot see what is behind him!
The Torah is teaching us that they did not see their father while he was immodest, because they were not interested in finding any wrong in another person. They just wanted to correct a problem.
We should do the same. If we see something that needs to be corrected, let's not make a fuss about it or try to find blame. Let's just take care of it, that's all.
(Adapted from Likkutei Sichos, Vol. X, Parshas Noach)