Sunday, December 23, 2012

Our country. Our world.

We live in a country where literacy, even just functional, is a developmental milestone attainable by a majority of the population and not merely the province of a learned elite.

We live in a world where, while true research requires a large amount of time, just about any answer to any problem or question can be found by typing a phrase into a search engine.

We live in a time where we know more about medicine than ever before, and we strive to keep people living longer and better instead of accepting everything as a death sentence.

We live in an age where we know more about child development, pedagogical process, and mental health than we ever could have imagined.

A world of instant feedback.

A global society where we can communicate with everyone easily.

A country where, despite disparities, every child is entitled to a secondary level education.

Indoor plumbing is expected!

We are rich. Many people own cars. Many people are able to live in big beautiful homes far beyond the boundaries of public transit routes. Commuting to our places of employment is such a luxury that it is seen as an annoyance.

At the touch of a button on our phones, we can create a pretty high quality photographic or videographic record of our daily lives.

We have everything so big and so grand around here that we have the good fortune to get mired in the minutia.

Look around next time we go to vote. People who are black and white and everything in between, male and female, property owner and tenant, all vote here.

Notice the different types of life choices available to us. Perhaps we get overwhelmed at the prospect, but we can make decisions about how to dress, what kind of jobs to do, how to care for our families, and who takes on what roles. Our lot in life is not completely predetermined by our families, our genders, or even our financial situation. I'm not looking to discount the adversity that many people still face in trying to live their lives, but it's a different world, and we make progress every day.

This is not our founding fathers' country anymore. It is greater beyond their wildest dreams.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

You have too much stuff

Today's good deed required that I do some sorting and weeding out.

If you are so inclined, do so. Then get rid of things that you don't use. Give them away--someone probably can use it and if you give to an organization, it is often tax-deductible. You know you have too much stuff anyway and you never use half of it.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Let it get in your head.

I didn't do anything major yesterday or today, just little things. I'm hoping that I still helped make a difference.

I will share this one thing because it wasn't big and I don't feel like I'm bragging.

I had a gift card at a store, and when I finished buying what I wanted, there was $1.50 or so left. I passed it to the person in line behind me.

It's getting in my head--when I have the choice to do something extra-nice, I will.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Season of Giving

This time of the year, it is tricky to navigate traditions and customs, other people and their it's best to stick to your principles while being kind and considerate. Hard balance to strike.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Good Deed December

Or...31 mitzvot.

I have neglected this medium, but perhaps posting this here will get me back in the habit.

Last month I did like most everyone else and posted 30 days of thankfulness on Facebook.

This month I'm going to try and do something extra-nice, beyond what I might ordinarily do, every day. But rather than brag about it, which defeats the purpose, I'll write a response instead.

But today's response can best be described with a complaint: everyone is sick and I really don't want to get it!

I'm glad to be able to help when asked, be it on short notice or not.