For my Hebrew speaking friends, this is an appropriate sentiment for today:
For those of you who aren't, here's the gist. This Rabbi Levi was called and requested to provide comfort to the parents of a fallen soldier. He was at a loss. He knew there was no comfort.
And he addressed the day. It's not for the families of the fallen. They live with this every day. It's for the rest of us.
Rabbi Levi saw this, admitted to the parents there were no words of comfort, but there was this:
Our obligation as the survivors is to live lives that honor the sacrifice that those who came before, who died for us, made.
The implied invitation of the Rabbi, and my express one, is to live such lives.
May no life that was given have been given in vain. May it be God's will that our commanders, politicians and countries protect those who protect us as they put their lives at risk for us.
May we find it in ourselves to live lives that honor those who came before, and then actually go out and live them.
I ran across this in my feed, and just thought I'd share:
What can be said in New Year rhymes,
That's not been said a thousand times?
The new years come, the old years go,
We know we dream, we dream we know.
We rise up laughing with the light,
We lie down weeping with the night.
We hug the world until it stings,
We curse it then and sigh for wings.
We live, we love, we woo, we wed,
We wreathe our prides, we sheet our dead.
We laugh, we weep, we hope, we fear,
And that's the burden of a year.
Poetical works of Ella Wheeler Wilcox, by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Edinburgh: W. P. Nimmo, Hay, & Mitchell, 1917.
From my alter ego over at Herz for President, I share my Election Day Greetings
My Fellow Americans:
I greet you this election day in a spirit of amusement. I do not expect to see any great shift toward a bold new world with either of today's presidential choices.
Either way, we tend to balance things. We may adjust congress in two years to moderate the effect of a too zealous leader. We may count on the snail's pace of political decision making to ensure that change takes a measured course.
But if we really want to see a change in the world, our job, today, tomorrow, and for the rest of our lives, is to change how we look at the world, to adjust our philosophy as the late Jim Rohn would suggest.
It is the fearful, those who see themselves as powerless, those unwilling to take responsibility for their own lives, who think that the answers will come from somewhere else, from “government,” from a Donald Trump or a Hillary Clinton.
The interesting thing is that government as we know it has no chance to keep up with how the world will change in the next ten years. Technologies are now coming on line that will change our lives in ways that most of us can't even begin to imagine.
Whole industries may disappear. Others will spring up. What our role inside of those will be we have yet to discover.
But maybe that's what's missing. I didn't listen too closely, but I didn't hear as a major theme in either campaign the encouragement of a sense of wonder or curiosity, or support of the notion that we are the authors of our own lives.
I've been listening to a lot of Tony Robbins recently. The man touches a quarter million lives a year. He enrolls people in a vision for their lives that leaves them in action and creating bold new futures, sometimes in a conversation of just a few minutes. I'm wondering how many people that Hillary and Donald have spoken to actually found themselves called to action in a profound way in their own lives, rather than called to try to get their candidate in to “fix things.”
Things will never be “fixed” until we stand up to do so. So my invitation for you, for today, for the next four years, for your life, is to take a stand, give your life over to something bigger than yourself, and you and I will see the world change in a way no political hack could make it happen.
And I leave you with an apology. I am sorry I did not take a stand and take my own campaign as something that could grow wings and change the world. If anything, this election cycle has taught me truly and finally that America is the land where anyone - natural born citizen obviously - can rise to be president. And if the best don't step up, and sometimes even when they do, we will be left with the kind of choice before us today.
So we have a choice. We can spend the next four years watching Donald or Hillary theater imagining that our lives would have been different if the other were chosen, or we can be the agent for change in our own lives, whatever Hillary or Donald have to say be damned.
Happy Election Day.
Whatever you choose at the ballot today is small fry next to your actually choosing yourself. Please do that and we'll all have an amazing four years.
All My Best,
David R. Herz
A good friend, a Ms. Cathy Roussel, shared this quote for Sharleen's Birthday Book I loved it so much I've printed it in A3 and it's the one thing on my wall in the office. I'm taking on the parts in bold.
“So, in a context of making the world work for everyone, and having that as the opportunity to create that as the context for our lives, we find we then have the power to create as the principle of our living that who we are makes a difference. That it really counts who we are.
“You see, I am quite clear that I'm never going to be the same. It's not going to be day by day, tomorrow and tomorrow creeps in this petty pace. Yes, it's true, that like you, I'm going to go back to the circumstances I left. But I'll never be the same because my life will be lived in a context of my own creation . . . the only way one can have a context. My life will never be the same, because I'll have the power to shape and form my own life because I'll have the power to create the basic principles of my life. I will not go out to find out if I make a difference. I will live my life out of the principle I make a difference! And for that, I will never be the same.
“You and I…listen to this…you and I can choose to make humanity…you and I can choose to make the success of all humanity our personal business. You and I can choose to make our daily business, what we wake up for, what we go to work for, what we come home for, what we go out for, what we do the things we do in life for…you and I can choose to make as our personal business the success of all humanity. You talk about being alive. You talk about getting up with a sense of purpose. You talk about having dignity. You and I have a great, an incredible opportunity. We have the opportunity to make the success of all humanity our personal business. We can choose to be audacious enough to be responsible for the whole human family. At that level of audacity, you are truly alive. You are out there, you have swung out, you've stepped out, you have put yourself out, and you got it on the line.
“We can choose to make our love for each other what our lives are really about.”
Werner Erhard, A World That Works For Everyone, 1980
And if you're in a place where you're looking to choose what your life is really about, or you'd like to share in what I've chosen, and you just need a little push to get you on the right path, I am here to help:
Landmark Worldwide is a company committed to reliably delivering that which makes a real difference in people's lives. It accomplishes this through its transformational courses, the foundation of which is the Landmark Forum.
Landmark has been a big part of my life, and especially of the things that work in my life for more than 21 years. Most anyone who spends more than a token amount of time with me will hear me talk about the Landmark Forum. So I thought I'd explain a little bit about why. Now I can point you here instead of trying to come up with it over and over again.
The main reason: I'm with the same woman, Sharleen, twenty years on, and Landmark has given us the ability to play with each other, to laugh with—and at—each other, to not take ourselves too seriously, and to see how damned big we are in the world.
We have four amazing kids, and who we are with and for them comes from what we have learned at Landmark. From Landmark, we have taken on practices of acknowledging our children, and learned to listen for what is truly important.
I get to be with myself. Twenty one years in, and I am still noticing where the little voice in my head (others might call them internal dialogues or hidden scripts) are keeping me from creating the world I want. And when I notice them, I can deny them their power.
For instance, less than two weeks ago, I noticed I've got one about how “I've got to do it alone. ” Noticing it let me give it up. For the first time, I created a team around a goal in my life I've been pursuing for 20 years. Also out of that, I met with someone about forming a pretty neat partnership. These would not have happened without this work.
For the new year, I created the possibility of being Active, Present, and Alive. By the end of January, I'd been to Germany and visited with my cancer-stricken Aunt and Uncle (he's now dead), five first cousins, and five more of their family, most of whom I hadn't seen this millennium.
I get to forgive myself. This one is the hardest for me. I often feel that—except for my family—my past is a sea of mistakes, lost chances and missed opportunities.
From Landmark, I see that my playing the victim of this past robs me of my future. It's a place I easily go, but I have the tools, and the partners, to notice this sick game. When I do that, I can actually create bold new futures.
I can lean into my fear. The first thing that I notice when I create a new future is the gap between where I am and that which I am inventing. The next thing I want to do is throw my hands up and walk away.
But I get that's only the little voice in my head, the child who was embarrassed, who failed, who wasn't enough, trying to keep me safe.
And I notice I am 47 and I don't need the conversations of my naive and scared younger to run my life today. I can say “I am scared, ” and act anyway.
In short, I can give myself Permission to Be the great person that I always suspected was inside there somewhere, but was too afraid to let out. He's actually far more powerful than I ever imagined.
So I share because I think a world of empowered, present people, people who are up to big things, people who lean into their fear, people who are willing to create the world they want to see, to borrow a phrase “to be the change they'd like to see in the world ” (M. Ghandi), would be a great world to live in.
I share because I know anyone who wants to be this has it available to him.
It's worth it. That's all. If you see yourself in this, and can find a way to afford it, it's a gift you really should give yourself.
All My Best,