A Prayer for 2018

Faces around me, intent in prayer, are beautiful

My forehead on cool stone, I begin

“Please, g-d…”

But I pause, not sure anymore what I’m asking for, or even if it’s OK to ask.

In my head I hear my words.

“Please g-d”

And realize nothing comes after that.

That is my prayer.  To please g-d.

In 2018, may we realize that good men can be capable of harm or impropriety, and bad men may on occasion do right, because people aren’t caricatures but are complex and human and flawed,

That there are truths that are fixed, regardless of versions, perspectives, interpretation or spin,

That winning brings out our best, finding justice and character and compromise, not strong-arming or triumphing over or vanquishing.

In 2018, may our faith in each other, individually and collectively, be restored

May we please g-d

May we have a year of open humility and public compassion, of giving and nurture.

Worrying less about comfort and wealth than the health and survival of those around us,

A year of recognizing that gifts may be temporary, and appreciating present blessings,

Of feeling gratitude.

A year where peace becomes individual responsibility – not negotiation, position or standoff,

A year where nobody is depersonalized or dismissed, but each of us celebrated as entitled to basic human dignity, each in g-d’s image

In 2018, may we live values everyday, unable to compromise them to justify any given ends.

May our spirits strive for goodness and acceptance, not blame or convincing others to see as we do,

and may our spiritual and secular leaders share and represent the values we hold most sacred

Let the corruption we are aware of become more starkly evident, and the manipulation we don’t know yet show its face and become apparent

In 2018, may our talk elevate and not demean, and may our actions speak yet louder.

May seeking respect not evoke accusations of oversensitivity,

and may we feel as imperative that we don’t strike back harder, nor turn the other cheek, but instead make genuine, earnest and heartfelt efforts to make things right and speak and live with love and decency.

May the strength and courage of conviction govern – not the fear of convictions, and

let us not feel overwhelmed nor paralyzed into inaction.

May 2018 open up before us, lit by light and by intention, as we choose a smooth path filled with warmth and concern, the exhilaration of cooperation and the comfort of support, ignoring familiar roads of fear and frustration, selfish obstacle and petty peril.

We can do better, we have done better, and we will do better. Baruch hashem. Please g-d.

About the Author
Judi Zirin is an attorney and freelance writer in the New York area.