Homeless DC

So aside from all the Washington, D.C. weighty monuments to our esteemed values of democracy, freedom, and human rights.

And aside from all the prestigious institutions and people of great power that formulate the policies and rules and keep us abiding by them. 

This is what I see in D.C. 

The plight of the poor, homeless, and downtrodden. 

Those that have fallen by the wayside.

People who are down on their luck.

Human beings–that’s right human beings–that need and deserve help or even just a chance.

Why does anyone have to live–if you can even call this living–like this a couple of blocks from the White House. 

I know there are people all over the world who are hungry, homeless, sick, and abused.

Yet, nowhere is this more stark an example than in the U.S.A where there is such an enormous divergence between “the haves” and “the have nots” and where our values are supposedly bound up with equality, human rights, charity, and kindness.

Yes, we are supposed to be equal in treatment and in opportunity, but we all know that is not really the case. 

Sure, some work hard and others are perhaps lucky/blessed, but then are those that are born with a “silver spoon in their mouths” and excel through a tight weave of corruption, narcissism, nepotism, and abuse.

Yet a real chance for everyone, a living wage, and basic dignity and respect should be afforded to all.

Money and power is ephemeral.  

Those with it, that abuse it, shall see it pass between their fingers ever trying to clutch unto it with dear life. 

Only the way we treat others will last in this world and in the world after. 

Everything goes around and comes around. 

This is the cycle of life and the lot of those who abuse their good fortune as well as those that harness it. 

G-d will judge with His mighty hand and bring to bear the deeds and intentions of those that mock His holy will. 

Because His children lay in rags and heaps, while others dance their folly jig. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


Failing Forward

There were 2 inspirational student speakers today at my daughter’s graduation from American University.

One spoke about how he got sick soon after starting college with a serious vascular disease, but despite numerous hopsitalizations, treatments, and falling behind his peers, he persevered and was graduating today and in very good spirits. 

Another women spoke about her many failures leading up to the success today of her graduation. She described how her father used to ask her: 

“What did you fail at this week?”


Because even though we don’t like to admit it, most people have many, many more failures in life than successes.  

Even Thomas Edison, the inventor of the light bulb is said to have failed 1,000 times before getting it right.

This women explained how failure is actually something to celebrate–does that sound crazy?.

But it’s really not, and here’s why?

“To fail is to learn.
To learn is to grow.
To fail is to grow forward.”

Now, I had heard about failing up, but never failing forward. 

Many who fail still manage to advance themselves in the process. 

But failing forward is different. 

It’s not taking advantage of the failure, but legitimately learning from the experience so that you can grow yourself, and advance yourself, by becoming a smarter, stronger, and more capable person from it. 

Sure, it hurts to fail. 

Who would normally want to celebrate failure?

But if we understand life as a journey and not a specific destination, then we enjoy every blessed moment that we have to become better today and tomorrow than we were yesterday. 

In this case, failure is not the opposite of success, but rather is part and parcel of achieving it. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Slow Build – Rapid Demise

It takes time to build in life. 

Or as they say:

“Rome wasn’t built in a day.”

But it’s not always easy to have patience. 

We all have to start somewhere and usually it’s at the bottom.

And then we have to claw our way up (like Rocky).

Unless of course, you’re one of those people born with a “silver spoon” in your mouth. 

The funny thing about building and climbing is that it can all be destroyed in a split second. 

One silly mistake, one stupid word, one indiscretion, one lackadaisical moment, a turn of bad luck…or a series thereof. 

It takes so much time and effort to build as we lay one brick of success upon another. 

And it takes just a split second to destroy it all. 

So watch-watch-watch your steps, because they can so easily turn into a rapid, spiraling, and even most deadly a fall.  😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Management Is A Privilege


So some people have this notion about management that is all wrong. 

– Management is not a right or entitlement.

– Management is a wonderful privilege!

The privilege comes with responsibility and is earned by knowing how to manage and treat your people right.

That means:

– Acting with integrity

– Treating people fairly, with dignity, and respect

– Showing you value them

– Helping to develop them

– And of course, achieving results together!

I heard it said well like this:

“If you don’t treat people well 

you won’t be a manager for long.”

Again, it’s a privilege, not a right, to manage and lead others. 

Those who abuse their privilege and people–it’s like the cycle of life. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Meaning Of Pain


Wow, I am so impressed with my daughter.

I spoke with her this evening and she has grown into such a smart, mature, and good person. 

We were talking about some hard times.

And she said to me so smartly (and I am so proud of her):

“The reason that we have pain is to avoid more pain.”

Wow…think about that for a moment. 

Everyone gets physical, emotional, and even spiritual pain in their lives. 

Even little things like stubbing your toe, getting a small burn, or a paper cut–these things give you a instant or more of pain…but it jolts you into attention of what to avoid and to action how to protect yourself to prevent further and worse pain down the road. 

A little pain now can fortunately save you a lot of pain later!

(Or in the gym they say, “No pain, no gain.”)

My father used to say about difficult life lessons:

“Better to cry now than to cry later!”

He was right–bad situations generally don’t get better with age. 

Continuing the discussion with my lovely daughter tonight, she said to me:

“A person becomes better when they struggle. I’ve become better by struggling.”

Again, like little pains, even larger struggles in life challenge us to learn, grow, and become better and stronger people. 

I remember as a kid–when we went through those growth spurts–it would actually hurt a little–some muscle aches here and some cramps there–whew, a few inches taller already. 

Growth hurts, but it’s kind of a good hurt that only someone with the emotional intelligence to understand maturity and betterment can really grasp. 

No, I’m not advocating for self-flagellation–just that we know when pain and struggle is a defining moment in life–like shaping and sharpening a great sword in fierce fire. 

It’s hot, but the heat is healing and necessary sometimes to grow as human and spiritual beings. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Happy Father’s Day

Fathers Day.jpeg

So it’s Shabbat and that’s one of the wonderful times to look at old photos in the albums and boxes. 

Yes, this was before digital photography!

I came across this art that my daughters had given to my father and mother when they were still alive–I think it was plastered on their refrigerator for a while. 

This photo seemed to bridge the past, present, and future for me. 

My parents are gone now to Hashem–already 2 and 3 years–and I still can’t believe it. 

At the annual Mother’s Day and Father’s Day–it’s just another time of year to remember how much I miss them all year long. 

For me now, it is also a chance to be grateful for my lovely children that G-d has so gracefully blessed me and Dossy with. 

Smiles, hugs and kisses, love and caring for one another–this is what life is all about.

Father’s Day to me is not about the gratefulness of my children to me, but rather of me to Hashem and them to be blessed to be a dad and have the chance to give back to such lovely children–to the next generation that greatly supersedes me and mine!

So I’m crunched in the middle in time between wonderful parents and beautiful children and as my dad would joke, it skipped a generation (hopefully, not really). 😉 

(Source Photo: My Girls)

Going Down B4 You Go Up

Wheel Of Life.jpeg

So a really special person that I know is going through some major life changes…

And they told me this interesting, wonderful, and faithful perspective.

“Sometimes you go down before you go up!”

Like the Wheel of Life (Gilgal Hachozer), what goes down, thank G-d can and does tend to go back up–it’s a return to the mean and then some. 

When you realize that challenges and even hardships are part of the cycle, and that these test and grow you and your ability to overcome, then you can face them knowing that you can rise up and hopefully to another level of maturation and happiness. 

Yes, know that nothing is easy in life!

Often we take a step back to take two forward or a step down to boost ourselves further up. 

It’s the nature of progress.

Don’t be afraid to go down a little right before you’re about to go way on up. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)