I could select a 100 different quotes to use to convey thoughts and feelings about life now, maybe more. And I would really enjoy the task of collecting them and determining what makes the most sense to me.
Since time is a premium and I am doing some learning on my own I thought that I would share some that I find to be meaningful. Assuming that family responsibilities do not interrupt me, I’ll even try and comment on each.
” Let your house be a gathering place for the wise; Be covered by the dust of their feet, And drink in their words with thirst.”
â€”Yosse ben Yoâ€™ezer
Education is critical. You should always work on learning more about yourself, the world and what happens around you. And part of learning is surrounding yourself with people. And while it is useful to be surrounded by experts, you can learn from almost anyone.
And it should be noted that experts is a term that can be applied in many ways and should not be viewed as being descriptive solely of professionals in white collar positions.
“If I am not for myself, who is for me? When I am for myself, what am I?If not now, when?”
We live in a small world in which we consistently interact with those around us. That means that our actions impact others and we need to be conscientous of that. It doesn’t mean that we always need to subjugate our will/needs to others because you must look out for yourself. But that doesn’t mean that we have permission to ignore them either.
And it should be noted that in regard to an individual’s country, this statement is applicable to both domestic and international relations. It also breaks down into neighborhoods as well.
“All my days I grew up among the sages, And I have found nothing better for a person than silence; And not the studying, but the doing is the main thing.And all who speak too much bring on sin.”
â€”Shimon ben Gamliel
Talk is cheap, actions are important. Bush/Kerry, this one is for you. Be a man of action and do what you can to improve life around you.
“Ben Zoma would say: Who is wise? One who learns from every man. As it is written: â€œFrom all my teachers I have grown wise, for Your testimonials (eidosecha) are my meditation.â€
Back on the education front. You can learn something from everyone you encounter. Some things will be big and some will be little, but you don’t know which will be the most meaningful. My son taught me a song that he likes to sing. He often asks me to sing with him and I enjoy doing so.
Is it important, is it meaningful? It is to me for many reasons, not the least of which is who knows what I do that will stick with him. Who knows what memories will drive him and build his character. This could be something that helps to define him. It sounds goofy, but it could be critical in his development.
“There are four types of people: One who says, “What is mine is yours, and what is yours is mine,” is a boor. One who says, “What is mine is mine, and what is yours is yours”-this is a median characteristic; others say that this is the character of a Sodomite. One who says, “What is mine is yours, and what is yours is yours,” is a chassid (pious one). And one who says, “What is mine is mine, and what is yours is mine,” is wicked.
Ethics of the Fathers, 5:10″
I believe that you should give what you can. You should always look to give back in some fashion or another. Money is not the only way to give, in many respects your time is more important and far more valuable.