With the start of 2021 I have taken the time to do a lot of thinking. The Chaos of the world, the divide among Americans. Identity politics, cities burning and people fighting. It can feel very overwhelming. Today I would like to invite you to take a step back and reflect for a moment. Ask yourself “ what can I do about it? ” I know the answer may seem hopeless like the situation we are in right now, You may even feel powerless to make a change at all. We are told that voting will make things better. Just exercise your vote. I’m actually talking about what you CAN do beyond the polls. Allow me to start at the beginning.
Several years ago I was having lunch with my Sensei. The amazing and extremely wise, Emil Farkas. I was railing on and on about the government, society, the world, humanity and the injustice plaguing people everywhere. I paused for a moment to catch my breath when I noticed a wry smile come across this wise man’s face. “ So,” he calmly began, “ What are you going to do about it?” I tried to answer this simple question and was silenced. That was the question wasn’t it? I pondered this question for a very long time. About three years.
One morning during my meditation the answer finally hit me. Though the thought came to me of my own I found out later I was not the first to have it, And it took a lot of brain power to come up with something that a few hours of research on the internet would have told me. But at least my simple conclusion was the same as many great thinkers throughout history. Simple yet profound. The answer was nothing, except to be the example.The only thing I have any control of is myself. I can not change anything. However, I can change myself. I can be an example. Fighting changes nothing. Burning buildings changes nothing, arguing with those that have an opposing view changes nothing. But what if I am the change? What if my small, tiny example of being a loving, kind human, treating all those I meet with respect and equality is noticed by another? What if someone else decides to do the same, and one other models that person, What happens then?
A few months ago I was at a Bar Mitzvah. It was a beautiful ceremony. The young man, a student of mine, stood before the small, social distanced crowd, He said something that made me think. He spoke about the potential of humanity when we cooperate. The power and potential are unstoppable. Mankind has done Incredible things. And when we all work together the things WE can do together could transform life and the world as we know it, When we put aside our differences and work as a community, we are LIMITLESS.
We have been divided, on purpose I believe, because when the collective fights amongst itself, that collective is easier to control, but its potential as a whole suffers greatly. When we have been divided we have been conquered. Times are challenging, and you may feel hopeless. I urge you to go out and find common ground with someone you might not have wanted to before. Lend a hand rather than shake your fist. The power of change is yours. Be that change. Today. Be the example