Thursday, June 30, 2016
A few weeks ago I took some of my kids to the park. My son Shalom was playing with a foam bow and arrow and it got stuck in a tree about thirty feet high. Normally Yitzi would have figured this one out and I knew there was no way I could help him, so I just watched and thought if only Yitzi was here. As I am watching I see a few kids coming over to help. Each kid a different ethnicity, and holding a different kind of ball. Football, baseball, basketball. All of them throwing them and trying to hit the foam arrow. Around them were other people telling them how to do it and how they are doing it wrong. Around them were other people just enjoying their day in the park. Eventually they got it down and all the kids high-fived each other and went on their way.
It occurred to me that these groups make up most of the population. Those who see a problem and use whatever means are at their disposal to try and fix it. Those that watch and criticize, but don't do anything positive. Those that see the problem and are overwhelmed by its magnitude and feel helpless to do anything. And those that go about their business ignoring all problems that don't effect them directly.
It also occurred to me that without a problem, these kids would not have come together, worked on something together and solved something together.
Two weeks ago, I had the honor and privilege of standing with people doing their best to make this world better with whatever means they have. Each person has their own way and their own reasons for the good work they do. They see something or experience something that moves them into action. Thankfully we all see and experience different things, so this work is done in so many unique ways. And because of that many problems get attention. Most of us are in the category where we are very aware of the problems around us but we don't know what to do about it. We are so inspired by those that do and wish we had the ability to make a change. Sometimes change is as big as building hospitals but can be as small as a hug. We have to recognize the value of everyday kindness and that we are all capable of it. Showing compassion and kindness to our friends and family and making people feel valued and loved. But we all know that there is so much more that we can be doing and so much more that needs to be done.
So now I ask you, what are you passionate about? What wrongs of the world really move you? And what are you going to do about it? What is your skill set and what are your resources? Are we all stuck in that place where we see problems and talk about it until we are blue in the face? Do we criticize those who are trying to fix it because we think it should be done differently? Do we DO anything or just lament about the injustices? G-D gave us strength deep down in our core. We need to really go deep and challenge ourselves. Do we see a problem? Yes. Do we want to fix it? Yes. Do we know how? ..... Many of us do not. But we have a few unlimited resources we can tap into. We have love, compassion, and hope. We also have intelligence (of varying degrees) and can come up with amazing ideas if we put our whole being into it. We have to think logically, where can my skills be most effective? And then apply yourself far beyond logic. Never be satisfied with the good you have done. Keep finding ways to do more. Find a few friends, make it your project and do what you can to make something better for someone else. In this world, our kind acts have a ripple effect. You will never know how much good each and every single act can do. But what we do know is that the main word is ACT. No more crying to your friends about the injustices in the world. DO SOMETHING!!
Next weekend is the anniversary of the passing of the Lubavitcher Rebbe. He saw the world as it is and as it is capable of being. He taught us that if you see a problem, it is your duty to fix it. He had more faith in you then you can imagine. He never let the skeptics get to him. He instructed us to do what we have to, to change the world. Completely turn it over for good. In his merit, let's do something crazy. Ignore your fears and do what your soul knows has to be done.