Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Thank God for Disasters???

Why is it that the best of humanity always seems to come out of a crisis, disaster, traumatic event?? Is this the only time we truly feel our connection to others, especially whole groups of people we “hate”, or hate us? 

It’s been very interesting to say the least, watching the posts from Houston. One “redneck” was going on and on about, black people, Latinos, Asians, etc. . . . all working together, helping each other out, looking out for their “neighbors”, and protecting their property and themselves. There was such kindness and concern, such opening of hearts. The rich and famous, brightest stars, godlike sports heroes all giving, becoming involved and coordinating efforts! If someone has been blessed with success, then those blessings were meant to be shared.

Charlottesville and Houston, which one are we? Well, I would say we’re both; we’re the only species on the planet who understands the difference. When our normal -- self-absorbed, constantly consuming, immediately gratified, mostly distracted and indifferent -- lives are disrupted, we come to realize an ancient truth -- We Need Each Other! Who else is there, but others who are enduring the same disaster and without helping one another, we die!

In our Lives 1st Initiative at the TOV Center, we combine ancient values and wisdom with 21st century science. This science is rewriting the book on how our brains function. Research has shown, that humans are wired for fairness, loyalty and compassion. Babies, toddlers and even young children live without prejudice. They have to be taught to discriminate, hate and fear. 

Years ago, I watched a news program about a massive earthquake in Turkey. Greek soldiers were there helping in the rescue efforts. Normally the two groups despise one another. The reaction and coming together after 9/11, Palestinian firefighters working with Israeli firefighters during the forest fires, the looks on the faces of Syrian refugees being bussed and helicoptered to Israeli hospitals for treatment. These types of behaviors reveal who we all are really are!

The Lives 1st Initiative views conflict, crisis and even disaster as catalysts for tremendous growth and transformation. I teach that same idea about grief, loss and recovery as well. When things will never be the same, they can be different. Nothing like going through something that reminds us, that We All Are Interconnected, and We All Bleed Red. What a revelation!

I’ve mentioned before, that in Jewish tradition, we say one blessing when we hear good news and one when we hear bad news, because we truly don’t know the difference.

Disasters? If they help open our eyes, open our hearts and bring out our true nature, which is to Protect, Preserve, Raise Functionality and Increase the Quality of Lives -- then let’s not waste the opportunity to show Love!

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It’s all about putting Lives 1st!
Rabbi Jeffrey Leynor