Harav Shalom Shvadron, was known as the “מגיד” or storyteller of Jerusalem. He told the following story to make an important point.
The Rav was once passing an area where the sewage pipe had broken, leaving a very bad smell. Rav Shvadron hurriedly passed that area as quickly as possible. To his surprise, on his way home, he noticed the sewage workers taking their lunch break right in the middle of where the horrible stench originated. These workers were so used to this smell, they didn’t even notice it.
The message of Rav Shvadron was that there are times when people settle in to a lifestyle or marriage that is really bad. But instead of doing something to work hard to change the situation, they settle for the status quo and learn to get used to the stench.
Others see what’s going on and can’t believe what is obvious. However, the victims of their predicament become oblivious and try to convince themselves by way of denial, that things don’t smell at all.
We must learn from this story to work harder at our marriages and to live more quality lifestyles.