Last December I shared some of my philosophy about life. I was in the seven-day mourning period (Shiva) after my father’s death. As I mentioned, he and I shared a deep spiritual bond – believing in Tikkun or our divine mission to contribute to the betterment of our world. He lived by what the prophet Micah said, “All that God asks of you is to be just, love mercy and walk humbly with your Lord,” and taught me to reciprocate the blessings bestowed upon me.
World-wide 2019 has been a chaotic year filled with an over abundance of school shootings, negative political discourse, and a heightened sense of unease regarding safety, financial markets and climate change, to name a few. Everyone seems on edge, quick-tempered and stressed. Many have neglected simple acts of kindness, the importance of community, positivity and being present in the moment. With this in mind, the following story bears repeating:
There must have been a time when you entered a room and met someone and after a while you understood that you had changed the other or he had changed you. By some word or deed or just by your presence the errand had been completed. Then perhaps you were a little bewildered or humbled and grateful. And it was over.
Each lifetime is the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. For some there are more pieces. For others the puzzle is more difficult to assemble.
Some seem to be born with a nearly complete puzzle. And so it goes. Souls going this way and that; trying to assemble the myriad of parts.
But know this. No one has within themselves all the pieces to their puzzle. Like before the days when they used to seal jigsaw puzzles in cellophane. Insuring that all the pieces were there.
Everyone carries with them at least one and probably many pieces to someone else’s puzzle. Sometimes they know it, sometimes they don’t.
And when you present your piece which is worthless to you, to another, whether you know it or not, you are a messenger from the Most High. (Rabbi Larry Kushner)
Interpret this as you wish, however I believe it means all our lives are intertwined and that we each influence the other somehow – even in the smallest of ways. Think about the last time you impacted another, whether through a touch, a smile, a kind word or deed, or simply by being in the same room. How did that make the other person feel? How did it make you feel?
As 2019 ends and you close one chapter to begin another in 2020, I urge you to reflect on how your actions or deeds impact the world for the better as well as what can you do next year to achieve even more. It is within each of us to be active participants in leaving this world better than when we entered. Count your blessings, share them, and live fulfilled. And I challenge you to take this one step further – be remarkable. Stand out from the crowd, stand for what you believe is right and just. Be the change you wish to see in our world.
“He who saves a single life saves the entire world.” – Talmud
Wishing you and your loved ones a healthy, blessed and joyous holiday season.