Finding Reality in a Floating Pink Abstract World

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “Finding Reality in a Floating Pink Abstract World.”

But when we return home to our Maker then we’ll see beyond time and space what we could never see while we were enveloped in a physical body and a material world. For the spirit survives the life as our L-rd spans infinity and one day too we will rejoin with Him and discover what our eyes could never see and our ears did never hear.

For our heart was hardened of flesh while our soul was molten and deep until eventually we awake from our slumber and find what we always did seek.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Not Caring or Worse

It’s interesting…


There are a lot of good people out there, but there are probably more in your orbit that simply don’t care or worse. 


You can have this problem or that. 


If they even “give you the time of day,” people will nod, tell you how sorry they are, and probably relate some of their own misery.


The good people try to see if and how they may be able to help. 


The others really don’t want to know, certainly don’t care, and just see you as baggage in the way. 


But everyone has their problems!  


If only people could look with compassion on each other. 


We all struggle with our demons in this world.  


Of course, we can’t let troubles get in the way of our doing what we need to do. 


But people can make all the difference in just providing a compassionate ear and being willing to open themselves up to understanding others and helping each other or making reasonable accommodations so people can help themselves. 


Listen, we all have our day–wouldn’t it be nice to be that person who is kind and generous to others and have others treat us that way too. 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

There’s A Reason For Everything

I go to the fridge to look for something to eat. 


I find am empty food storage container on the shelf. 


I recognize it from the day before when it was filled with delicious over-baked salmon. 


So I go to one kid who I guess may be the culprit and I ask:

Why did you leave the empty bowl in the fridge and not clean it out when you were done?


She says:

Dad, I didn’t do it. 


So, I feel like a jerk and apologize for thinking maybe it was her.


Then I go to the other kid and say:

Did you leave an empty dirty salmon bowl in the fridge?


And she says to me:

I did.


So I ask rhetorically thinking there was no acceptable reason:

Why did you do that?


She says sweetly to me:

My sister was sleeping and I didn’t want to wake her by washing out the bowl.

And I knew she meant it. 


I wouldn’t have imagined a reason for leaving an empty dirty bowl in the fridge, but it just goes to show not to misjudge people–there is usually a reason for everything. 😉


(Source Photo: Amazon)

What Is Life?

Here is a great parable that speaks to the meaning of life:

A man died.

When he realized it, he saw God coming closer with a suitcase in his hand.

Dialog between God and Dead Man:

God: *Alright son, it’s time to go*

Man: So soon? I had a lot of plans.

God: *I am sorry but, it’s time to go*

Man: What do you have in that suitcase?

God: *Your belongings*

Man: My belongings? You mean my things…clothes…money…

God; *Those things were never yours, they belong to the Earth*

Man: Is it my memories?

God: *No. They belong to Time*

Man: Is it my talent?

God: *No. They belong to Divine Providence*

Man: Is it my friends and family?

God: *No son. They belong to the Path you traveled*

Man: Is it my wife and children?

God: *No. they belong to your Heart*

Man: Then it must be my body

God: *No, No… It belongs to Dust*

Man: Then surely it must be my Soul!

God: *You are sadly mistaken son. Your Soul belongs to me.*

Man: I never owned anything?

God: *That’s Right. You never owned anything*.

Man (with tears in his eyes and full of fear took the suitcase from God’s hand and asks God): Then? What was mine?

God: *Your choices.*

Every choice you made was yours.

Create each moment by filling it with meaning.

Do G-d’s will at every moment.

Choose to act kindly to others in every moment.

Life is the choices of every moment.

(Adapted from and with Gratitude to Minna Blumenthal for sharing this with me)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Flower Petals In Water

Just wanted to share these absolutely beautiful flower petals floating on the water. 


G-d’s creations are so wondrous and marvelous.


Frankly, I find it hard to comprehend how He made everything so gorgeous. 


There are plenty of challenges for us in this world to keep us learning and growing. 


But truly, I love that there is some Garden of Eden paradise in this world too. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Boiling A Frog

So sometimes you don’t know that something is happening until it is too late. 


A colleague yesterday told me this great simile:


It’s like when you put a frog in a pot of water and turn up the heat, the frog doesn’t know what’s happening until it’s too late, and he ends up being boiled alive!


With better knowledge of the context, of course, you can have the foresight to act, to fight, to get out, whatever. 


Similarly with the frog, if you throw him into an already boiling pot of water, he immediately jumps out, and viola he’s saved. 


It’s really important to have good situational and political awareness. 


Not everyone out there is so innocent–even when they have a good act and pretend, “Who me?”


Many of them know how to work the system, so that the system works for them. 


G-d forbid, when you’re in the way, they’ll often turn up the heat. 


And if you don’t realize what going on, you’ll be the frog that’s a not so tasty dinner. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal

Left Handshake Is Right

So I heard about someone misinterpreting something I did for the worse.


Occasionally, when someone tries to shake my hand, instead of shaking with my right hand, I will take their hand in my left. 


I’ll do this for various reasons such as arthritic pain or from dirt (like ink or cleaning ) from some prior work I was doing. 


But always when I extend my hand it is with warmth and friendship. 


However, I learned that one person took this handshake as a serious personal affront. 


They thought that I was “disrespecting” them intentionally.


So I learned that even the most everyday, mundane gestures like a handshake, but done differently, can be taken out of context and misinterpreted. 


Why do we judge others for the bad?


Maybe because we don’t trust, don’t want to ask, don’t want to know, or have had bad experiences in life that jade us. 


But sometimes a handshake is just a handshake whether with the right or left hand. 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Me Myself and I

I thought this was really fascinating about how we interact with others.


It’s a theory by Martin Buber called the I-Thou relationship.


In every relationship, there are really 6 people in the room:


– Who I am.


– Who I want to be.


– Who I am perceived as.


———–


– Who they are.


– Who they want to be.


– Who they are perceived as. 


———-


Taking about a break between reality, fantasy, and perception. 


Is it any wonder that there are so many communication breakdowns and relationship disappointments. 


We need to coalesce around a unified persona of I and thou–and if we don’t know, perhaps we need to ask for clarification.


We don’t want to talk past each other. 


We want to talk to and work with each other. 


I am me and you are you. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Fight or Flight

So I learned this interesting thing about the Fight or Flight response.


Fight or flight is not just physically fighting or fleeing, but it has a much more diverse set of responses involved to perceived life-threatening events. 


Fighting (turning towards the threat)

1. Physical fighting (Protect yourself with force)

2. Non-physical aggression

– Criticism (e.g. Attacking personality or character)

– Contempt (e.g. Attacking sense of self-worth with sarcasm, shaming, insults, eye-rolling, and sneering)


Flight (turning away from danger)

1. Physical fleeing (e.g. Run/hide)

2. Non-physical withdrawal

– Defensiveness (e.g. Deflecting the attack with excuses, disagreement, counter-arguments, or blaming)

– Stonewalling (e.g. Conveying disapproval or disconnection, stop participating, change the subject, or giving the cold shoulder or silent treatment)


When you recognize that not all issues are life-threatening, then you can lower the intensity of the “Amygdala Hijack” in terms of fight or flight and instead work towards developing mutual understanding, trust, respect, and shared goals and solutions. 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal and attribution of content to Dr. Britt Andreatta)

A Mountain Of Data

Turtle .jpeg

So I heard this interesting perspective on information and data analytics…


Basically, it comes down to this: 

“Most organizations are data rich, but information/insight poor.”


Or put another way:

“Data is collected, but not used.”


Hence we don’t know what we don’t know and we end up making bad decisions based on poor information. 


Just imagine if we could actually make sense of all the data points, connect them, visualize them, and get good information from them.


How much better than a pile of rocks is that? 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)