In the Jewish year 5782
Russia became a pariah terrorist state, Ukraine found a voice and united the world.
I had a baby go from weeks to a year.
worked to get Ukrainians in blockade food and way out
worked with volunteers to help 20,000 Ukrainians safely get out of Mexico and get to refuge in US.
Worked to help Jews in Ethiopia
got a teaching certificate
taught hundreds of kids
helped coach a wrestling team.
helped a company get to revenue.
helped research on CO2 monitoring
created a consulting network for MBA alumni.
created new traditions at Patrick Henry
I can look back on a year and say: It was a year of purpose and one where I know I made a difference.
But I also failed a lot. I have been negligent to family, I have been terse with people I work with, I have been overly driven. I focused on wrong things. I have spoken poorly of others.
And this is why the year is sealed and yet it isn’t. It would seem to make sense to think back on the year and ask for forgiveness first and then end the year. But the Jewish tradition says end the year and THEN think of how you transgressed. Why?
Because this way you start the year reminding yourself that in spite of all those accomplishments, you still have things to work on, that you are not just the good, you are also the imperfections. So if you are to have a better year than you did before, start with thinking of how it can be better, evaluating the things to work on and only that way do things improve. And that’s the true game of life: improvement. Improvement spiritually, physically, in our careers, in our families. To improve our condition not in material ways but the ways that matter. We have gratitude for what we have while we work for what we can have. Not for how we expected things to be but for how we were able to have them in spite of the difficulties. Not for the stress but for how we learned to cope, and reduce stress through planning and wisdom of the year before.
And while you may not be celebrating the new year today, but we can all learn from each-other, from each-other’s traditions and heritage. We can take a little piece of the age old wisdom and incorporate it to make ourselves and those around us a little better.
May you all have Shana Tova (A good year).