With gratitude to my beautiful daughter, Minna Blumenthal, for sharing this song by Idan Raichel with me.
So someone I know came over to this country and literally has to work 7 days a week for months at a time!
They don’t want or need to work that much, but their employer insists that’s the way it is.
On top of it, they don’t even get overtime for all the unbelievable hours they have to put in.
One day, this person actually just broke down in incredible tears, just asking to get a single day off.
Finally, finally, finally–the employer gave in–for just a single day!
The person was so happy–one day of freedom; one day to enjoy; one day to regain their inner beauty and humanity.
I was so happy for them!
Every person deserves at least one day off per week.
Every single one of the major religions in the world that is anchored in the Bible–Judaism, Christianity, and Islam–have a holy Sabbath as a day of rest.
There is a divine and ancient wisdom to this.
People need a day to rejuvenate.
Everything is nature does.
Even the fields have to lay fallow every 7th year so the earth can revitalize and replenish itself.
There is a natural cycle to things–peaks and valleys–and we need to have some rest and relaxation–to work for something and not for nothing.
The joy on this person to just have a day off–it was so incredible and touching.
It spoke light years to me about treating people right–just–humanly–with compassion–and doing good over evil in this world.
What does the employer need to wring an extra days work out of their employees for the rotten greed of money and profits?
Better to care for your people, and they will be better off for it and thus to the needs of the business and its customers.
Care for people–they are people.
Love people–they are G-d’s beautiful children.
Treat others as you would like to be treated.
Let everyone have a day of rest and something to look forward to–to enjoy, to have some happiness, to get time with their family and friends, to get back to themselves, to attain a deserved and proper peace of mind, body, and soul. 😉
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Sometimes in life, people are left tongue-tied.
Too shocked, shamed, confused, or abused to speak or perhaps to even know what to say anymore.
Maybe in the face of some horrible things that happen in life, there really are no words.
Instead, the vacant or crazed look in the eyes says it all.
People go through a lot–some of it is inhumane.
Sometimes, only tears can even begin to express what they are feeling.
I think one thing that is important to do, even when we’re not sure what to say, is to acknowledge that it is okay.
Silence is often golden.
Listen more, watch more, feel more, learn more, reflect more.
Ask more questions.
Usually, I’m told to ask at least 5 times (i’d say at least 3) to decompose to what is really going on underneath the superficial covers.
“Tell me more.”
“Can you elaborate?”
Sometimes, people have difficulty getting in touch with their true feelings or accurately diagnosing what’s bothering them.
It’s more than okay to be thoughtful, be deliberative.
Words are often cheap, but they shouldn’t be.
Our words should be truthful, meaningful, insightful, even righteous.
Take all the time you need, your words are worth it. 😉
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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)
All Opinions my own.
(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal adapted from here with attribution to International Campaign To Abolish Nuclear Weapons)
My daughter snapped this photo of my wife and I while we weren’t looking.
When we got home my wife titled it “Walking Off Into The Sunset.”
We both cried when we saw it!
So full of meaning…
Two people, different, but hearts and hands together.
Walking into the future, not sure where it is going to take us.
Some day we’ll be old, and we’ll look back at all the times.
Hopefully, all for the good, but always trying to make the best.
We’ll walk off into that sunset sometimes with tears, but always with joy.
(Source Photo: Michelle Blumenthal)
The Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) is tonight, and it is a time of introspection and commitment to do better in the future.
On Rosh Hashanah, we blow the Shofar (traditionally made from a ram’s horn) in synagogue.
My sister-in-law, Sara Herbsman, told me a beautiful learning about the three types of blasts on the Shofar that correspond to 3 types of people that think they may be beyond repair, but who can still improve their lives:
1) Tekiah–tekiah means rooted and is one long blast–a person is never too stuck, stubborn, or set in their ways to change.
2) Shevarim–shevar means broken and the sound is 3 short broken blasts–that is a person is never to broken to fix.
3) Teruah–comes from the word Ra which means bad and is 9 rapid very short alarm blasts–that is a person is never too bad or evil to repent.
For those who have heard the Shofar blast, it is a moving experience–as if your very soul is stirred to introspection and fear of heaven.
I remember learning in Jewish Day School that our prayers would ascend to G-d in heaven on the blast of the Shofar.
But what I always like the best was the story of the one little boy in synagogue who did not know how to pray, but instead just cried–and his tears, full of sincerity, ascended beyond all the other prayers all the way to throne of the Almighty.
May G-d bless us with a happy, healthy, prosperous, and peaceful New Year.
(Source Photo: here with attribution to Elias Punch)