Right now we must make one of the most important decisions of the year, and we can’t mess it up.
The decision is deceptively simple – “do we expect mostly good things to happen in 5781, or mostly bad ones?”
It is impossible to overstate the seriousness of this choice, and the effect it will have on us as individuals, as communities, and as a nation at large.
A philosophical viewpoint is the wellspring of personal energy. This energy is used as emotional fuel to power all of our actions, whether they be academic, economic, or social.
An optimistic approach will permeate all throughout your projects and interactions, and give a vital drive to any endeavor you initiate.
Similarly, a pessimistic expectation filled with cynicism and distrust will infect your tasks, and its haggard tendrils will worm their way into even your most minute movements.
In a word, how you start is how you continue.
The implications of how we direct our mentality this Rosh Hashana are nothing short of thunderous, and they will reverberate all throughout the nation.
An adamant commitment to hopefulness will inspire a fecundity of creative activity and caring maintenance.
Husbands will love their wives more (secret for all the ladies out there: a man loves with hope).
Partners will try harder in their relationships.
The closeted home inventor and entrepreneur will excitedly choose to gamble and build their wondrous contraption or service that no-one else thought of.
The regular customer will be just a bit nicer to the store owner and transmit some extra happiness in their greetings.
Community leaders will invest more careful thought in planning infrastructure, local laws, and social events, leading to better serviced and more united neighborhoods.
Parents will show more patience with their children, and try harder to educate them, believing that a brighter future awaits those who are better prepared, and that their children are in fact in charge of their reality.
Alternatively, a predisposition towards negativity will induce a depressive psychological state, and as my clinical therapist of a sister says, “depression and anxiety usually live in the same basket”.
A perennial premonition of inescapable oncoming doom triggers the “fight or flight” response which, when activated regularly and without justifiable cause (e.g. a wolf coming to tear you to shreds, getting mugged, etc), unleashes disaster on relationships, education, and the economy.
Not only do you recuse yourself from any constructive behavior, but you also react to potentially benign situations and communications with passive aggression, needless disrespect, and sometimes even outright scorn.
This is not the world that we must want for ourselves and others.
It is our moral obligation to adopt positivity and a belief that things will change for the better, especially with our help and hard work, because when we alter our viewpoint, we affect the entire world.