Between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, some of us are inundated with social media requests asking for forgiveness by some individual or the other, just incase they may have inadvertently hurt your feelings or made you a bit unhappy. I used to do that. I thought it was a great idea. Not anymore.
In truth if you hurt someone’s feelings, it is the cowards way out to post some oblique post on social media saying “oopsiedaisy.” Turn to the person in your life and APOLOGIZE. That is what a grown up does. That is what someone who takes command of their life does.
Take responsibility. Admit your mistake. Fix it. Move on.
There is nothing wrong with being wrong. You will not die from it. You will not be sucked into the event horizon of a black hole never to be seen again. In fact, you may end up the better for recognizing your shortcomings. You may make yourself a better person. Spiritual growth really isn’t a bad thing in the long run.
But here’s the flip side to the idea of repentance: what if you are not wrong, but the other person has decided you are? Why do you have to play into the victimhood of another person? I don’t think you have to. Simply because someone was offended by your beliefs or ideas doesn’t mean that you are wrong either. You can take a good look at what you said or your ideals, but you don’t have to change if you don’t want to. The rule of thumb is still the golden rule: treat others as you wish to be treated…go from there.
Meanwhile, these are some things in my world that are NOT negotiable:
The main one is that my aspergean sons are wonderful, brilliant, youngmen who are entitled to any future they choose, and I will do what I need to, without apology, to get it for them. I don’t care who I have to step over, or who I have to hold up to ridicule if that is what it takes. I will fight this fight until the end. I will take no prisoners.
I love my country. I love the USA. I believe the USA is the greatest experiment ever in the history of the planet Earth. We may not be perfect, but at least we try to do our best, even if that best falls short time and time again. As far as I am concerned the US Constitution is the most significant document ever created by humankind. No it is not perfect. It can’t be since its creators, humanbeings, are not perfect. Yet having amazing foresight the authors of the Constitution knew that they were not perfect and created a mechanism whereby future generations could fix their mistakes.
I am proud of my Jewish heritage and I am proud to be a supporter of the State of Israel, with all its warts, issues and problems. I am proud of the technologies, the medical advances and challenges that Israel brings before the world. I am joyful that after 2,000 years our yearning, “Next Year in Jerusalem” is a reality. I am glad that after thousands of years of exile, torture, pogroms, and genocide, Jews worldwide, whose existence is threatened, can return to their homeland for help. And yes, the uniqueness of the Holocaust does matter (despite what some overindulged thespian may have you believe) especially the part where noone gave a damn that it was happening. And it matters, as an affront to decent human society, that there are millions who while denying that the Holocaust ever happened, call for a new one everyday and happily celebrate the murderers of Jewish children.
I despise racism, bigotry, antisemitism, homophobia, misogyny and the politically correct idea that those who are not like us in the west are held to a lower standard of humanity. I have no use for cultural relevancy. Human rights are human rights and noone is better than another. Religious and ethnic supersessionism is devoid of humanity. Anything that takes from one person their right to blossom as a full human being does not deserve respect simply because its an ethnic idea that has existed for thousands of years.
This is our only planet. Earth is to be nurtured, loved and cared for. Whether you adhere to global warming or are a denier (who some believe should be arrested under the RICO statute), taking care of this spinning blue ball in the Milky Way for the next generation is our greatest obligation.
Kindness is the ultimate gift to one another.
Try to laugh at least once a day.
Drink copious amounts of coffee, and wine, while eating barrels of chocolate.
So going forward here is my one simple rule:
If you don’t like what I say, believe or stand for, don’t read my blog, follow me on Facebook/twitter or any other social media platform. I am not sorry for my opinions. I am not sorry if my opinions offend you.
For those of my fellow Jewish travelers, may you have an easy fast this Yom Kippur.
May all of you, Jew and gentile alike, be written in the Book of Life for good year.
G’mar Chatimah Tova.