[14b top] R’ Achi ben R’ Yoshiyah asked R’ Dustai ben R’ Yannai and R’ Yosi ben Kippeir, to bring him back a silver vessel that he had deposited with custodians in Nehardea. After obtaining it, the Rabbis refused to accept their own responsibility for the item (and not exempt the custodians). After R’ Yosi refused to return the item to them, the custodians started beating him up. When asked what R’ Dustai was going to do about it, he responded, “Punch him even harder!” Upon their return, R’ Achi ben R’ Yoshiyah explained that R’ Dustai “acted properly” (as he was fearful for his own life).
D-E-ep Thoughts: We have to be realists and understand that we cannot always be the “Supermen” to save the day. If we recognize that in a specific scenario our efforts are futile, we should not waste more time and energy on them (and move on to a new approach or avenue). But, whenever there is a slight true possibility of success, we may not be pessimists. We have to do the work just give G-d a pinhole opening for Him to flood a dark area with His brilliant light.