Andy Blumenthal
Leadership With Heart

It’s All in Your Perspective

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Learning is a lifelong pursuit. None of us know everything. Here are five lessons about perspective in life that I wanted to share, and I hope you appreciate their wisdom as much as I do.

Is It a Gift or Did I Just Buy Myself Something?

So this is a true story: On Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, a friend went to the mall with his kids, sort of a great American tradition. His kids wanted to get him a Chanukah present, so they took him to the store. Then, they asked him what he wanted and had him buy it with his credit card. Well, at least they had good intentions!

Not Disability, Different Ability

They say that, in a sense, having a disability means that you are also very gifted in other ways. It makes you think twice about the concept of disability—that ordinary people can’t hope to do what some of these individuals can do effortlessly. This is especially often the case when it comes to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), but it also applies to other areas as well.

In another sense, you can value people for their differences in all aspects. For example, in the Washington, D.C., area, we’re all up at the crack of dawn, while in New York City, it’s “the city that never sleeps.” So some of us are “night owls” and others are “early birds,” but in the end, it works out perfectly because that way we have the whole day covered!

Time Depends on How You Look At It

Even before Albert Einstein, Judaism was aware of the relationship between time and space. Incredibly, the Hebrew word לְעוֹלָם (L’Olam) means both “forever” (in terms of time) and also “the world” (in terms of space). This is just a small part of the genius of the לשון קודש (the holy language) of the Torah. So in one sense, time and space are fused together, but in another dimension of thinking, they can be pulled apart like the “Prime Directive” and theoretically rearranged.

Rabbi Ari Soussan made a great comment about storytelling when he said, “It’s all a true story; it just didn’t happen yet.” Therefore, rather than dismissing works of the imagination, we can try to appreciate them anew.

Just Because Your Life Looks Good on Facebook Doesn’t Mean I’d Trade With You

As much as we see people posting and bragging about their accomplishments, how wonderful their family, friends, and communities are, how successful they are at work, how many wonderful possessions (houses, cars, etc.) they have, and how awesome all their vacations are, nobody wins at life all the time.

The truth of the matter is that everybody has their own basket of good and bad in life, and you probably wouldn’t want to trade your basket for anybody else’s. It reminds me of the saying, “Sometimes you eat the bear, and sometimes the bear eats you.”

Fear and Hope Both End up With G-D

There is an interesting relationship between hope and fear. On one hand, fear and hope seem like opposites. If you are feeling fearful, then you probably are not very hopeful, and if you have hope for the future, then that dispels your fears. However, both hope and fear can lead you to the same place, which is G-d. When you are afraid, you seek G-d for guidance and salvation, and when you have hope, it is anchored in belief in the love and grace of the Almighty. So both hope and fear take you to the same endpoint, which is G-d Almighty.

All in all, we need to maintain a flexible mindset and avoid approaching the world with rigid thinking, because when we do that, we miss out on so much that can enrich our minds, touch our hearts, and uplift our souls.

About the Author
Andy Blumenthal is a dynamic, award-winning leader who writes frequently about Jewish life, culture, and security. All opinions are his own.
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