It’s For Us

I love this saying from one of my colleagues:

“G-d doesn’t do it to us. 
He does it for us!”

Instead of asking with anger and resentment “why me?” — perhaps we can try to see the larger picture and be grateful for all the blessings and opportunities that G-d does give us. 

While certainly there is pain and suffering in this world, there is also the chance to learn, grow, and become stronger and better people. 

We are here to hopefully leave the world a better place than before we got here. 

The perspective that the challenges and obstacles are not meant to really harm us, but to help us is not an easy pill to swallow.

But maybe it really is the enlightened view of faith that we all need to fight on and overcome. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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Listen Better, Empathize More

So I am working on myself to improve and be a better person.


Recently, I had a number of experiences with people telling me of some very trying circumstances.


And at first, I found myself listening and talking to them about it, but then my mind started to get distracted by other things going on and other problems in my life that I needed to deal with.


So after we finished speaking about their respective family, work, and even health problems, I felt that I may have cut off some of these conversations too early or without enough empathy. 


After clearing my head, I thought to myself, I really want to listen better and empathize more. 


And so I went back and did just that. 


I found each person (in person, by phone, or email), and I said that I felt sorry for what they were going through, and I asked more questions and tried to really just be in the moment and there for them.


They seemed to each really appreciate me taking the time and effort to come speak with them and that I cared. 


I know that I am human and make mistakes, but I want to continually grow and do better in life. 


In this case, listening better and empathizing more–it felt great and I learned to listen to my conscience and do more when I think it’s right! 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Nothing Personal

There’s this funny line that some managers use with their employees.


It’s when they harshly criticize, pick on, or even bully their hard working and good people.  


What do they say when they do it:

“It’s nothing personal.”


Ha, that’s sort of funny, but really it’s sad. 


I asked an executive colleague about this and this is what they profoundly said:

“It’s my favorite line when the boss says it’s nothing personal. Of course it’s personal. Is there anyone else in the room!”


When people misuse/abuse their power to hurt others whether at work or even in other situations like with small children or anyone else in a subordinate position:


– That’s not business.


– That’s not professional.


– That’s not being a good human being.


People are not punching bags because someone else is having a bad day. 


We need to rise above the occasion and be better than that. 


It’s better to be humane, compassionate, and emotionally intelligent. 


And not just because someday, we are all in that position where someone bigger is facing off against us.


But rather we need to behave kindly to others, because they too are G-d’s children and our brothers and sisters, and it is the absolutely the right way to behave–whether it’s business or personal. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Yearning for Redemption

Just an impression from my recent trip to Israel. 


There is such a yearning for people to do good and to merit the coming of Mashiach (Messiah) towards the ultimate redemption for mankind. 


It’s on every street corner and light post.  


Whether it’s eyes gazed on the righteousness of Rabbi Nachman or The Rebbe–as we used to sing as kids in NCSY:

“We want Mashiach now!”


Whether Mashiach is an actual person or a spiritual revelation in the world leading to redemption–it represents an unprecedented enlightenment, holiness and a spiritual healing, and love and peace for mankind. 


While we strive to earn our daily bread, it’s nice to have a part of us that also seeks a greater good and achieving betterment for the world. 


Any small or big things we can do in our lives to contribute to Tikkun Olam (“fixing the world”), it’s purposeful, hopeful, and uplifting to try. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Something Better In Store For You

So I recently had what I thought was a big opportunity slip by me.


My first reaction was to be disappointed, upset, angry, and question why.


But then I remembered something I heard the other day:

“If something doesn’t work out then it’s because something even better is coming.”


Wow, that’s powerful!


Think about it…


What do we mortal human beings really know?


We think something is right for us–but only G-d really knows what the future will bring.


Perhaps with this or that thing that we think we so want, instead of joy and fulfillment, it’s really just heartache or disaster in the waiting.


My father used to say and was so right about it:

“Better to cry now then to cry later.”


G-d loves us and has our best interests at heart–He saves us and has something better in store for us. 


My father also taught me:

“What can any man do to us when we have faith in G-d.”


And he really lived that way!


He never worried about what any person or event could do to him–faith always protected him and even when he was sick and was dying, and I asked how he was, he told me:

“I have no pain.”


And I could see truly with his deep faith in the Almighty, he really did not feel any pain–it was amazing and miraculous!


Like my dear father, when I remember that G-d has the whole world in Hands, and He watches over us then my heart is uplifted and all I want to do is sing His praises, and that is what I will do. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Wherever You Go

So my father used to say this idea about dealing with life’s challenges:

“Wherever you go, that’s where you are!”

If you think about it for a moment, it really is very profound. 


Some people think that they can run away from their problems.


Move here, there, everywhere. 


Change schools, jobs, spouses, whatever. 


But you can’t run away from yourself. 


Wherever you run, you’re still you!


So you need to fix yourself, your problems, your life. 


Yes, sometimes your in a place is bad, a bad fit, the people are bad, the chemistry is bad, the circumstances are bad. 


And then change can certainly be a welcome and good thing.


But when you change the external, the internal has to keep developing and changing as well, so that we learn and grow to be better people.  


Change your place is not a substitute for changing and growing yourself–that is the only constant with change. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal) 

Live 4 Something

Live 4 Something.jpeg

I was on the treadmill the other evening. 


On the TV was Sylvester Stallone in the movie, Rambo. 


Ah, some nice welcome action to take my mind off the exercise.


Some doctors and missionaries are trying to make their way to to Burma to help the helpless victims being slaughtered by the military warlord and his henchmen. 


Stallone knows the danger in going there, and at first, he ties to discourage them from going.


The beautiful and sincere women in the group convinces him to take them there…to try to make a difference in these people’s lives who are suffering. 


Stallone takes to the lesson and incorporates it into his inner persona. 


And later he says:

“Live for something 

Or

Die for nothing!


I thought this was a really good philosophy. 


THINK ABOUT IT: 


– We can choose to make our lives meaningful and impactful or to hide in the closet or under the bed and really accomplish nothing.


Our lives are a gift, given to us to do something good with–it’s a sin to waste that gift and not do everything we can to be a good influence, help others, and make this a better world. 


(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)