If your job is to find the rotten apples in a bushel, you see all the brown spots and bruises. Bushel after bushel, you build up an impression that apples tend to go rotten. If your job is to find the most perfect apples in a bushel, your eyes focus on the rosiest, shiniest specimens. Bushel after bushel, you build up the impression that Hashem created an amazingly beautiful fruit. The focus makes all the difference.
Rabbi Teitelbaum never met a student he didn’t love. He had a life-time career teaching the boys no other yeshiva would take – boys who were far behind in their learning, who couldn’t wake up for Shacharis, who had a restless energy that led them to trouble. But that’s not what their rebbi saw.
He had a kind of x-ray vision that made their pure souls and warm hearts clear as day.
People wondered how he could stand to deal with so much trauma and trouble year after year, but Rabbi Teitelbaum wondered, “what trouble?”Where others saw misfits, Rabbi Teitelbaum saw attributes. His boys were the type that would drive 100 miles to pick up a stranded friend or go all-out to raise money for someone in need. Many were talented: they played instruments, wrote music, drew, painted or built furniture.
Some were very spiritual as well; they worked to make a sincere connection to Hashem despite their difficulties in yeshivah.No one could get Rabbi Teitelbaum to say a negative word about his boys. In his eyes, they were filled with G-d-given potential and their troubles were nothing but a shell that, with love and encouragement, they would eventually shed.
Because Rabbi Teitelbaum focused on the good in his students, he had no negative thoughts to express; shmiras haloshon came naturally. He sought out all that was shiny and perfect, not because he was fooling himself but because it was really there.
G-d made a good world. If we make it our job to seek out the good apples,shmiras haloshon and all of its blessings will follow.