Sunday, March 21, 2010

View of the World

Our president campaigned on the empowering slogan, "Be The Change." I really liked its positive message: Go forth, and make a difference. You, not someone else, you.

Some years ago, my rabbi gave a moving sermon on the occasion of his installation. He spoke of the need for "grace" in our lives. To act in a graceful manner; to treat others with grace; to understand and interact with those in your everyday life with grace. He pledged to always be graceful with us, his congregation.

What is grace? It's often thought of as a prayer, as in the "grace" before meals. Webster defines grace, among other ways, as "...An act or instance of kindness or courtesy...."

I have thought about that speech often these last few years...and often these last few days.

It was just as powerful as the Be The Change message. Finding grace, doing grace - now that is a challenge. It encourages us to always think what someone else is thinking. They are vulnerable - like us; they are in need - like us; and perhaps, we can help them today.

It says in Pirke Avot, Sayings of the Sages (a collection of revered rabbinic thought), "When all around you are behaving badly, be the mensch." So I have named this blog Be The Mensch. A "mensch" is a good person; someone who tries to do the right thing all the time. I want to think and write about this, to consider grace and being a mensch.

Join me on this journey.

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