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Posts Tagged ‘hope’

Today, as I watch the Presidential Inauguration, just as millions around the world are watching, I am moved, and inspired. No more, and no less than millions around the world are inspired, but enough so, for those feelings to change my life, and invigorate me to make passionate commitments in my life, about how to take my part, in changing the future.

Who am I to think I can? I never learned much about politics, and certainly never got involved. I didn’t get an Ivy League education, not even close. My job is not necessarily important to the world, but it is certainly one of the most important things to me, and my life. I’m a mother of 2 extraordinary children (yet ordinary in the view of the world), I’m the daughter of an ordinary family, and I have my own strengths and weaknesses that I must wrestle with every day.

Who am I to offer commentary on this new President’s inauguration, and message to the world? What makes me think that anyone should listen? Nothing, nothing at all. But, just in case, there is someone to whom my words might make a difference, then, I have made my own contribution to changing the world. And if writing these words creates a more defined clarity about my own responsibilities to this world, to peace, and to brotherhood of mankind, then, I again, have made a difference.

As President Obama stood among millions in Washington D.C., as well as around the world, of course the greatest message that was conveyed simply by his presence, was hope. Hope for change, hope for renewed economic development, hope for world peace, and hope for unity. As I watch the Bush’s and the Obama’s exit the Inauguration, and bid adieu to the Bush’s at the helicopter, I am struck most by the theme of unity, in today’s ceremonies. And it is this theme that I want most to elaborate on, and support, as the days turn less into ceremony and more into a process of getting down to business.

First and foremost, I was struck by the unity of every person in attendance there today, and throughout the world wide web. A common theme exists, yet, among citizens who undoubtedly have very different upbringings, opinions, financial resources, political platforms, and lifestyles. People of every race, religion, and sexual orientation stood together today, in hope. The most incredible feeling at that moment was that of unity.

But, what must we do to make that hope a reality? Is it enough that we stand together on one day to express our hope for – well, hope? No, no way. Not enough. A good start – but not enough. When President Obama was elected, and I realized that the generation of my older teenage child were largely responsible for voting him in – I encouraged them and admonished them – to remember that their vote was not enough. If change was what they wanted, then they had to evoke change within themselves, and find what their role would or could be, in evoking that change in the world. It is not enough to sit back, and watch as President Obama single-handedly takes office and leads the country – we must take action, each one of us. In our average communities, in our average jobs, in our average families, we are each charged with a responsibility to make change.

As I officiate my students’ Bar and Bat Mitzvah ceremonies, I am moved by their expression of hope for World Peace, for people of different races, religions, and sexual orientations to live peacefully together. And this is exactly where I think all of has have a responsibility to change. We must remember that we exist together in this world, and take heed from the lesson that was demonstrated at today’s inauguration. I can see our political administration, who 6 months to 1 year ago today fought passionately against each other’s ideals, come together, as one administration. They came in support of our President – each one of our,s in America. We come together as citizens, not united by our faith or the color of our skin, but by our hopes for peace and freedom.

It is my children’s responsibility, it is my responsibility, and it is every single person’s responsibility on the face of this earth to make the commitment to being united to the mission of peace and freedom. 60 years ago, no single person ever would have dreamed of an African American in the White House. It seems a dream that was as obscure then, as World Peace is today. But, is it so difficult to dream? Is it so difficult to accept an individual because of his differences? Is it so difficult to think that our way may not be exactly the right way? And that by all thinking and working together, by involving each other and holding each other accountable for peace and freedom, that it might actually be achieved?

Or are we all too busy trying to prove that our way is the right way? That we or “I” am superior to someone else, simply because they are different? What if we all adopted a philosophy of being equal – under the eyes of God. “Hear O Israel, The Lord is Our God, The Lord is One”, Pastor Rick Warren repeated today. How true that was. Now, if we could only make the pledge to actually live our lives that way – and remember that God created our universe, created mankind, and put us all here to live peacefully together – in freedom. He has brought many races and religions through incredibly difficult victories in our fights for freedom since the beginning of time. Isn’t that a message of hope for us all to learn to live peacefully together?

It isn’t that obscure of a dream. I almost feel like we are right on the verge of an amazing eclipse in our world philosophy. I feel that in my lifetime, it’s possible, and that I can take steps to make that happen. President Obama didn’t reach the White House on the coattails of welfare, nor did he assign anyone else the tasks of reaching his goals – he took them on himself. Because of his commitment to surpassing the impossible boundaries he envisioned for himself, because he took his own action and made life happen for himself, I know that I too can break the impossible boundaries I may see for myself, and my country, and my world.

We have duties to ourselves, each other, our countries, and the world. We must work together to achieve unity. We must accept our neighbors for being different, and respect different opinions. We must embrace those who think differently from ourselves, and remember that it might just lie within that person, or that idea, to break through from the norms, and move to the unexpected. We must unite with distant families from whom we are estranged, and with whom we have allowed our differences to fall between. We must remember we are all family, we are all created in God’s image, and we are all human beings first, seeking freedom, and World Peace. I make a commitment today to live life through the lens of breaking impossible boundaries, and I urge every friend, colleague, and citizen out there today, that on this day, they make the same commitment to themselves, their communities, and the world.

Good Luck, America, we have reached a brand new day, and I’m confident we have witnessed a moment of profound change in our world. May it only be so…

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One year ago, today, my website had just launched, and my blog was in its beginning stages.  I remembered, today, that on that day a year ago, I wrote a blog entry about Thanks and Giving, and I decided it was the perfect time to go back, and see how far I had come, and express new thanks for what has taken place, and for the blessings that had been bestowed upon me in another year.

Honestly, not much has changed, but everything feels different.  I am still thankful for the same things, yet, this year, I want to be a little more specific about the things I’m thankful for, and to look closely at and appreciate the most profound blessings of the year.  My list from last year is below this year’s, at the bottom of the page.  Many things are still the same, and many find their same position on my list, but this year, I feel even more fortunate than last, because so much has changed.  I really hope to convey what I am most thankful for.

1.  I’m so thankful, first and foremost, for my amazing children, Lauren & Trevor.  They are truly the most precious gifts from G-d, they are my source of inspiration, and purpose, every minute of the day.  This year has seen its challenges, for both children, with Trevor leaving home for the first time, and finding out that the world can be harsh, cruel, and unfair – and Lauren, who is just beginning to see the world that exists outside of her limited perspective, and realize she has so much left to learn.  She has realized that while she’s an amazing human being, sometimes, the world mirrors back what it sees most, and she hasn’t loved what she has received in terms of messages.  The constant phone calls from each child this year seemed more than I could handle at times, but through them, we have all grown, and can clearly see new paths being formed for all of us.  I am thankful for the clarity I receive from the experiences with my children.  I am thankful they continue to strive to be independent adults with multi-dimensional personalities.  I am thankful they still call home for comfort, and run down the Turnpike or I-95 just to get a hug (and home cooking and clean laundry) from Mom.  Some might look at my relationship with my children and say I am too involved.  I am thankful that those people are not very important in my life, and that I have the courage to ignore them, and do what feels right.  I am thankful that they are healthy, ambitious, determined, kind, and sensitive.  I am thankful for the inner and outer beauty.  I am most thankful, above all else, for Lauren and Trevor.

2.  My parents and sisters.  This year, I have to put the emphasis on my sisters.  I am in awe of how each of us, quietly, and at the same time, seemed to put the resentment, and trivial annoyances behind us, and began to appreciate each other for who we were.  We stopped looking at each other under glaring microscopes, and realized that we are all flawed, but family is family, and we love and accept each other for who we are, and who we are not.  I’m thankful for Alexa.  My most amazing, precious niece, for whom I would do anything.  Anything, at all.  And I hope I am here to help guide her and listen to her, and be the most amazing Aunt anyone could ever hope for.  She lightens my life, makes me feel so special when she asks for me to come see her, and makes my heart sing, when we skip and gallop down the sidewalk together.  I am thankful for Nancy for giving her to me, and thankful to Nina, that we can share Lexi, and be great Aunts, together.

3.  My ex-husband, Wayne.  Yes, I still learn very important life lessons from you, and am eternally grateful that you are the father of my children.

4.  I have found an even greater appreciation for the voice I have inside of me, and the sensitivity that God gave me.  I have far more confidence this year in my voice than last year, and it grows daily.  Not the singing voice, but the inspirational voice.  The one that shows compassion, boldy speaks my own opinions, and allows me to set my own direction, regardless of input from others.  The voice that is connected to its source, who knows where I belong, and has given me the unlimited power to get there.

5. The roof over my head, the friends in my life (most specifically – Mindy, Alison, and Nancy), my comfortable car that gets me everywhere, my guitar, the beautiful community I live in, and peace.

6. Air. Food. Mountains. Nature. Highways. Technology. Friends. Chocolate.

7. Courage. Independence. Abundance. Freedom. Satisfaction. My job(s). Little did I know last year that this would be such a powerful segment of my gratitude.  I have pushed all of these to their limits this year, and it has proven to be the most rewarding experience of my life.  I thank G-d for the courage to fight for my independence, which created the most satisfying freedom and ability to create the job(s) that gave me the most joy and pleasure, and hence, abundance has sprung from sheer determination to do anything but fail – even when I was staring failure right in the face.  I am so grateful.

8. Tolerance. Understanding. Acceptance. Peace. (Yes, I know I said it already, but it’s important enough to say again)

*** New for 08/09 ***

9.  My commitment to health and physical well being.  I am thankful to know what I should and shouldn’t eat, and to finally begin to understand that I am what I eat.  I must honor my body by eating only that which empowers me, and fats and carbs just won’t do.  I feel so powerful when I know I am eating for success, and that enables me to pursue exercise and mental well being as a result.

10.  Meditation, and The Power of Now – The ability to tune “in” as well as “out” is incredibly empowering.  It seems that the universe opens up and the most dramatic changes occur, shortly after deep meditation and introspection.  When I stay focused on the Now, my energy is reserved for what is important, and I am so thankful for the perspective it gives me.

11.  The past.  Looking at it, I am able to find life’s lessons I might not have learned when it was the present.  Therefore, I try to remain thankful for the present, and also the future, as I know that the greatest lessons will be learned there.

12.  Love.  There is so much love in my life.  I love my family, my children, my career, my home, my community, my world, and my friends.  I am blessed many times  over, and could not hope for anything more than what I have been given this year.

13.  Optimism.  The ability to choose the positive over the negative.  To find silver linings.  To empower, and cheer – myself, and those around me.  To smile, just when I need to cry, and remember, that someone always has something worse to worry about than me.

14.  God.  How is possible He was not on last year’s list?  He brings all gifts, bestows all blessings, and provides all things.  I am so grateful to know him.

I didn’t do as well as I could have in the giving department this past year as I had hoped.  I gave of myself hundreds of times over, and I intend to make more of an outward financial commitment to help those less fortunate than I.  Perhaps there’s an opportunity for balance?

I believe that it is imperative that before we ask G-d for anything at all, that we count our blessings and show our gratitude.  Perhaps it is that once we do so, there is actually far less to ask for?  For me, I ask for nothing, this year, other than the continuation of the blessings I am already fortunate enough to have received.  They are enough.  They are everything.

My you and your families find peace and contenment in your hearts this holiday season.  May you find the abundance that exists, even when money is scarce.  May you find the love, even when conflict arises, and May you find peace, among the angry stress of the day.  May you be blessed.

B’Shalom..

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Thanks…..
1. I’m so thankful for my awesome children, Lauren & Trevor. Truly the most precious gifts from G-d, they are my source of inspiration and purpose, every minute of the day.

2. My parents and my sisters. The road to today certainly hasn’t been an easy one, but it’s the best path we have ever been on. I’m so grateful for having them in my life, and the relationship we share.

3. My ex husband. Thank you Wayne, for being you. Whether you know it or not, you play a huge role in my being on this path, and there are some very important lessons you have taught me in life. I will always treasure you – no matter how angry we get at each other.

4. I’m thankful for the voice G-d gave me. I’m thankful that I am sensitive, and sometimes overly emotional. It means I have feelings. And the opposite of that is unthinkable.

5. The roof over my head, the friends in my life, my comfortable car that gets me everywhere, my guitar, the beautiful community I live in, and peace.

6. Air. Food. Mountains. Nature. Highways. Technology. Friends. Chocolate.

7. Courage. Independence. Abundance. Freedom. Satisfaction. My job(s).

8. Tolerance. Understanding. Acceptance. Peace. (Yes, I know I said it already, but it’s important enough to say again)

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