If everything goes according to plan and you have received the paper when you normally do, you will be reading this right before, on, or right after Rosh Hashanah. The Jewish New Year. 5784. Allow me to begin by wishing all of you a healthy, happy and sweet year; a year filled with only simchas and good things. A year of all of your prayers being answered. A year filled with only smiles and laughter. A year filled with delicious food that doesn’t make you bigger. How was that?
This column, and next week’s as well, has to be positive, uplifting, and filled with words of Torah. At least that is what my Oreos want them to be. Actually, they would like my columns to be filled with words of Torah every week. They try very hard to keep their mom on the right path.
If all their prayers are answered this year, I will be covering my hair and wearing only skirts. And I would give up sarcasm, repeating the same stories over and over again, and making predictable comments. I have to hope that I am not the only mother who does that. Am I?
A few years ago, Son #1’s friend gave a dvar Torah about how “For me the world was created.” I still think about that. At first thought, it seems to mean that everything really is all about me. Maybe that is why there are so many narcissists in the world. But I think we are supposed to take those words as a reason to do the best we can to make our world — our communities, our families, our friends — the best possible world that we can. To do good deeds, be kind to each other, visit the sick and elderly, and just be all-around awesome individuals.
However, I also feel that there is a totally different way of looking at these words. I think I have confessed to looking into people’s apartments when I’m driving down the West Side Highway at night. All these people living their lives, alone, with spouses, with friends, or with children; all thinking that they are the most important — that, indeed, for me the world was created.
So in thinking about this logically, if everyone thinks that the world was created for me, the collective me, then each person has an obligation to make their world the best and most beautiful that it can be. And there has got to be some overlap, so let’s say if I am doing something to help out a friend, I am part of their world, and if someone is doing something to help me out, they are now part of my world. So all of this good that each “me” does has the potential to make everyone better, and make the world a place where there is only kindness, friendship, and love.
Wow, what a beautiful thought. Take from that what you will, and do with that what you want. No, I am writing this completely sober.
In truth, I am on my way home from my cousin’s engagement party.
This sweet young couple met in college and have been dating for years. And they have that newly engaged glow, wearing those rose-colored glasses that make everything seem full of hope and excitement. Ahh, I still remember that time with Husband #1. Everything he said or did was adorable. And I never even thought about hitting him over the head with a blunt object.
Sorry, I just went way off course with my focus on kindness and positivity.
Back to me, well not to me, but to all of us. Let’s take this new year and each do our best to be kind and not toxic. To listen and not ignore and do our best to not sweat the small stuff and get over ourselves. Most things are just not worth it.
For example, did you know that when you leave a package of chopped meat and two second-cut roasts in the backseat of your car for five days, in the heat, they start to smell?
Yup, don’t sweat the small stuff! Have a happy new year!
Banji Ganchrow of Teaneck has now learned an important lesson about checking behind Strudel’s car seat for bags of groceries…. Live and learn.