The Horrible C Word

Beat Cancer.jpeg

Cancer is such an awful killer disease.


After heart disease, it is the #2 cause of death in the United States taking almost 592,000 lives a year or 22.5% of all deaths!


Usually, we don’t even like to say the word and even tempt fate.


Instead we just refer to it as the horrible “C word.”  


Today my daughter forwarded to me this poem written by a teenager with terminal cancer, and I thought this was worth sharing with you all…


SLOW DANCE

Have you ever watched kids on a merry-go-round?

Or listened to the rain slapping on the ground?

Ever followed a butterfly’s erratic flight?

Or gazed at the sun into the fading night?


You better slow down.

Don’t dance so fast.

Time is short.

The music won’t last.


Do you run through each day on the fly?

When you ask, “How are you?”

Do you hear the reply?


When the day is done, do you lie in your bed,

with the next hundred chores running through your head?


You’d better slow down

Don’t dance so fast.

Time is short

The music won’t last.


Ever told your child, 

We’ll do it tomorrow?

And in your haste,

Not see his sorrow?


Ever lost touch, let a good friendship die 

Cause you never had time 

To call and say,’Hi’


You’d better slow down.

Don’t dance so fast.

Time is short.

The music won’t last..


When you run so fast to get somewhere,

You miss half the fun of getting there.


When you worry and hurry through your day,

It is like an unopened gift….

Thrown away.


Life is not a race.

Do take it slower

Hear the music

Before the song is over.


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Advertisements

@Bethesda Trolley Trail

You can walk for miles…

It’s quiet and green in a suburban setting.

Who’s that dummy?

Lovers come out here too.

Some graffiti tells you there is still the big city of Washington, D.C. nearby.

A little surveillance—the “I’s” have it!

ADT security plus some colorful wind adornments in front of the houses. 

Park is good, but only until sunset. 


Watch out, “old people” crossing (saw a deer too).

 

The whole trail runs between Rockville and Bethesda–see the French International School, The National Institute of Health, Suburban Hospital, houses, shopping, parks, and more. 

Try not to get too lost in the fun of it all.  😉

(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)

Where Does Organized Religion Go Wrong

Organized Religion.jpeg

So I am definitely someone who is spiritual and tries to be faithful to G-d.


I believe, He is my creator and sustainer and that we are here to learn and grow our soul before it goes back to Hashem. 


Yet often, like so many others now-a-days, I find organized religion to be a turn-off. 


Why?


1) There is a consistency and sincerity problem.


To some people, I believe it’s partially the rote and robotic nature of some of the practices–where we just do it, because we are told to do it, and we do it over and over and time after time, again–even when we don’t feel it in the moment, and even if we do other things that are not so right in other areas of our lives.  


In contrast perhaps, there can be more spontaneous and genuine feelings and actions, in the moment and every moment–that come from the heart and the soul of the person and directly to G-d–and they are consistent whether we are in a religious setting to how we treat others and how we act in business. 


In other words, we just don’t follow the rules, but we live them fully and integrated with ourselves and all situations we find ourselves in. 


2)  There is a money and power problem.


In some religious environments, all people are not created equal or treated equal. Instead, the say, the attention, and the honor goes to the powerful and the rich, who are courted for their donations and their votes to the institution and the spiritual leader. Who gets talked up? Who is given the honors at the religious rituals, at the events and the dinners, and with their communal “peers”? 


In other cases, it’s not just money and power that talks, but who is outwardly the “most religious” and presumably walks the walk.  If you but “seem” more religious than the next guy, then you are elevated and exalted in the religious community.  


Instead, what happened to welcoming and caring for everyone–to everyone being children of G-d–to each person having a soul and their personal life challenges. Why can’t we treat everyone as religiously worthwhile and give everyone a chance to learn and grow in their own way from their starting point and to their destination?  


Religion should be the one place that isn’t a competition with others. 


Religion is ultimately between man and G-d!


And only G-d knows what is inside man’s heart and in his soul–and what his actions really are all the time and what they truly mean in context and in essence


I welcome G-d in my life, because I:


– Have faith in Him and that ultimately He has a master plan and that everything is for the good 

– Love Him for giving me the chance to learn and grow my soul to be better

– Fear Him for when I do something wrong in my life and need a course correction 


I wish for a time and transformation when religion would not just be based on outward manifestations but on being sincere and consistent in people’s lives, and where people would no longer be superficially judged and (mis)treated because they are themselves and on their G-d given paths. 


If only we could religiously love, rather than endlessly judge, each other, oh what a heartfelt and inspiring religion that would be. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Ultimate Rejection (Not)

Rejection.jpeg

Ok, folks.


This picture is not the message you want to get before Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year and time of judgement). 


We want to see the long hand of G-d come down with love, caring, forgiveness, and blessings!


A flick of the Almighty index finger, definitely not what we want to see or get.  


Worse would be getting the middle finger, of course. 


But I definitely don’t think G-d does that! 


Talking about rejection with a big R. 


To all my family and friends, a most happy, healthy, peaceful, and prosperous New Year!  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

 

What Women Want From Men

What Women Want.jpeg

So I was talking to this nice gentleman.


He was telling me that he lost his wife of over 27 years to cancer–this happened over 15 years ago. 


And since then, he had a girlfriend who recently broke his heart and married someone else. 


I felt really bad and sorry for this nice man–who is always so friendly and intelligent.  


He says to me:

“Over the years, I’ve learned what women want from men.”


I ask him inquiringly:

“And what is that?”


He’s obviously glad that I asked, and he proceeds to tell me:

“Women want two things: curiosity and security.”


Not understanding what he means by the first one, I ask:

“What do you mean curiosity?”


He looks intently at me and says:

“Women want to talk, and they want to know what’s going on.”


He explains to me that if you talk and be a good listener to women and provide (your part) materially in a stable relationship with them–they will be happy and you will be happy. 


This is sort of the “Happy wife, happy life” idea that I’ve heard before. 


Listen, even at this stage in my life, with a wife and two lovely daughters, I can still learn something about what makes women happy…teach me the pearls of wisdom and I will learn it well. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

G-d Created Evolution

Evolution.jpeg

So I’ve been thinking a little bit about evolution.


And I don’t see any contradiction between evolution and creation.


In fact, G-d created evolution!


You see, in His infinite wisdom and love, G-d made his creations with the ability to change over time. 


We are not static creatures, but we are able to evolve, adapt, transform, and grow ourselves, our species, and our world over time. 


But, but, but…there are fossils hundreds of millions years old…how could G-d have created the world less than 6,000 years ago?


Well, who says G-d created the world at time horizon zero–if the world was fully formed with trees and plants, and fish, birds, animals, and people–then these could all have had age associated with and built into them already. 


Boom…G-d just created Adam and Eve–was that from the point of conception, day of birth, or fully grown adult?  Similarly, how old is the tallest mountain or the fullest forest when it was created? 


Time is not a function of G-d who is timeless. 


And the formed world appears at the blink of G-d’s eye and it can disappear that way too. 


Similarly, we learn in the Bible how G-d created the world in 6 “days” and rested on the 7th, but who says a day is literally that.


Couldn’t a day as in 1, 2, 3, etc. be phases of creation…where a day could be anything from a split second to a millennium or even a hundred million years.


To the G-d who Was, Is, and Will Be–what is a day, but a span of infinitesimal to infinite time to create His children and the world to teach and grow them. 


We are here in a infinite universe enveloped by the love of a limitless G-d. 


Evolution is no more a constraint on G-d then time or space is–to the contrary, evolution is a blessing of G-d that lets things develop and mature from the image of G-d to the imagination of His mind’s glory. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

It’s Just Bling

Crystal Kids.jpegSo sitting in synagogue today, my friend Jacob said something very interesting to me.


He was talking about some very wealthy people with multi-millions and even billions. 


And then he says, you know what the difference is between the rich and everyone else:

“Nothing!”


I asked him what he meant by this.


Then he starts listing off to me like this:

“Well, they live in a home, and you live in a home.
They drive a car, and you drive a car.
They eat food and you eat food.”

And it was amazing how smart his words were, and it hit me how right he was. 


It’s all sort of just in our minds.


Their homes are bigger and nicer; their cars are more luxurious and fancier; their food is better and tastier…but what difference is any of that really.


We both have a roof over our heads to protect us from the elements and a nice place to sleep. 


We both have a car that gets us from here to there and back again. 


We both have food and drink to fill our bellies and nourish us. 


Isn’t the rest just a bunch of bling?


It’s branding and marketing and the sense of luxury that some are better and have more than others. 


But beyond the essentials, we really don’t need any of that!


What we do need is our relationships–people we care about and love and who love us. 


The ability to have a deep impact on others. 


To influence them and make a difference in their lives–in what they do and how they treat others. 


The ability to help people and society. 


The bling is just bling. 


The ability to love and influence that is true wealth. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)