This weekend, I went with my family to the Havdalah service at our temple. Havdalah is a celebration of the end of the Sabbath, a quiet, simple, beautiful service that ends with extinguishing an interwoven candle in a cup of wine.
We were there with other Fourth Grade parents to watch the kids reenact Havdalah Hispana, a study of the Sephardic Jewish traditions that flourished in Spain. The kids spoke about the hundreds of years of convivencia, peaceful coexistence between Muslims, Jews and Christians in Spain from the eighth Century until 1492, the start of the Spanish Inquisition.
At the end of the service, standing holding hands in a circle surrounded by friends and strangers, practicing shared rituals, I felt safer, more at home, and a part of something bigger than myself.
And at that moment I couldn’t help but think how, at that same moment, in every single mosque in all of the United States, congregants were probably feeling less safe, less certain, less secure. That is why I am so angry, and why what is happening feels so counter to the ideals and the values for which this country stands.
And I ask myself:
Do the people supporting the Muslim Ban not understand the impact of what they are doing?
Or do they not care?
Or worse, is this exactly what they want?
The answer to these questions will help us understand the best ways to respond.
“It’s almost there. Today’s Thursday,” I hear a fellow passenger say to her friend as we all walk off the train. Yet another person counting the seconds until the weekend.
(At that moment, she had 115,200 seconds to go.)
On and on we tromp down the endless treadmill, until, perhaps, we step up and step off.
It is especially rare to wake up one day and muster the courage to jump off alone. The treadmill’s moving too fast, and we might hurt ourselves when we jump.
What gets us there is the slow, consistent work of finding like-minded people to dream with, to experiment with, to discover what a different world might look like. We draw our courage from them, as they do from us.
When the moment finally does come to leap, we are surrounded by a community trust, that catches us, shows us the way, and cushions the fall.
Happy Monday to you.
Between trying to catch up on work and a publishing glitch this morning, there was a gap in my blog posts.
I was talking to one blog reader yesterday who said, “What happened? You didn’t post today.”
That’s great news. If you want to influence, if you want to lead, if you want to have voice and influence, the three words you most want to hear are “I missed you.”
Think about all the noise and commotion and all the competition for people’s attention. Think about big corporations spending millions to find a way to get to all the people who are TiVoing their favorite shows and SPAM filtering their emails and do-not-calling at home. Think of all the BlackBerry-buzzing, iPhone-app using, Kindle-reading cacophony of communication careening through everyone’s days.
If you have broken through so much that you’re missed, you’re doing well. And if you’re missed by 100 or 1,000 of the right people (for you!), you’ve arrived.
(Just to clarify, this post isn’t about blogging. It’s about your organization, your product, your program, your community, your career, your voice. It’s about you.)
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