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Happy Independence Day 2021

July 1, 2021

The Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776.  It said;

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”. 

The founding of America was then, a very novel idea in building a nation based on individual rights and freedom.  A nation founded on the idea that man is inherently (soul) good and given freedom could/would eventually live up to that good. A nation founded on the belief that all are created in the image of G-d.  That we are all children of G-d.  That given freedom, we could and would eventually have a country that lives up to and recognizes these “self-evident truths”.

Those who got freedom back then, were grateful.  Yet it was not something that they were familiar with and had no real experience with.  They were an imperfect people given the freedom and opportunity, based on the founding principles, to grow and become a more “perfect union”.  So began the journey in learning how to use their new freedom.

We were all created with free will.  The USA was created to be a nation that gave us the opportunity to express our free will.  With the freedom of free will, we can choose to elevate ourselves and become the person we were created to be.  To be the unique person, with a unique purpose, and mission for which we were each created.  A mission that contributes to the benefit of all.  A person who follows

“Love your fellow as yourself” (Leviticus 19;18).

“If I am not for myself, who will be for me. And if I am only for myself, of what good am I.” – Hillel, Ethics of fathers 1:14

Without these rights and freedom we could not pursue our dreams and our individual purpose.  When we each use that freedom to be who we are meant to be, to fulfill our unique purpose, America will be all that it’s meant to be and what it was founded for.   Without the freedom to fulfill our individual purpose, we will never get to a nation fully defined by it’s founding principles.

What could be more gratifying for each of us to know that we chose, because we could, to use that freedom to reach our ultimate potential as human beings.  To know that it came from you and not imposed on you.  To look around us and see that all are enjoying “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”  To be truly United.  It may take longer than we would like, but freedom is the only way to get there.

If there are faults in America, it is not the fault of America.  We are all still imperfect people.

A young child asks his parents on a long trip, “Are we there yet?”.  The parent answers “no, not yet”.  On our journey, we must constantly ask ourselves, “Am I there yet?”. Each of us is a work in process that can lead to progress.  The closer you get, the closer we will be to the ideals that America was founded on.

In the 245 years of our independence, we have made much progress, and accomplished much good.  One of the many of America’s accomplishments is very personal for me.  If it wasn’t for America, my Parents (OBM), would not have been Holocaust Survivors,who then came to America, and therefore I would not be

So let’s keep going forward, until the answer becomes, “yes, I am there” and therefore “yes, we are there”.  Without freedom we will never get there!

To have the freedom to pursue and become our true selves is indeed something to be thankful for.

Our liberty should be celebrated everyday by using it for the good of all.

May we cherish, be grateful for, and protect those freedoms for many, many more years.

May we use our freedom to fulfill our greatest human potential.

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY  

G-d Bless America

Always Giving Your Best Pt.4

June 17, 2021

A reader of this site was a little uncomfortable with the “you can’t be” in the last post and asked for a little clarification.  So here it is, for all to see

Positive Psychology, many parents, and many Self-Help books will tell you that “you can be anything you want to be”.  That’s not necessarily true.  Can you be the President of the United States-maybe, can you be a superstar athlete-maybe, can you be………

You may not become anything you want to be, although you should try if that is where your passion lies.  Go as far as you can go by putting all you have into it, and be happy with where it leads.  If, for example your goal is to become number one at something, recognize that it is more than okay if you don’t succeed.

Otherwise, instead of raising your image of yourself, for accomplishing all that you did, it might lower it.  This can lead to feelings of failure, envy, and then anger.  That’s a no-no.

Realize, that it’s more than okay, because while you might not become number one at that something, you gave it your best.  That alone teaches you consciously or un, a lot about yourself.  You will have learned that while your physical potential is limited, it is indeed greater than you presently think.  That will give you the strength and courage to always reach for your full potential.

While you may not become anything you want to be, you can be everything you were meant and needed to be and be number one at that.  No one can be as good at the something that you were meant to be, as you can be.  Only you can be the “Best-Est” at being you!

You were given gifts to use for your unique purpose and mission.  There never was or ever will be anyone like you and there is a reason for that.  The reason is that you and only you, here now, can make a certain and unique contribution to improve our world.  Your contribution might not bring you fame and fortune, but it will improve your life by improving the life of another or others.

Sing Along With Me

“Only you can make all this world seem right
Only you can make the darkness bright
Only you and you alone…”*

When the great Rabbi Zusha was on his deathbed, He was surrounded by family, friends, and students. They saw him crying and asked if he was crying because he feared death. He explained that he wasn’t afraid of dying. He was afraid that when he died and met G-d, he wouldn’t be asked why he wasn’t more like Moses or Abraham; he would be asked why he wasn’t more like Zusha.

“I do not try to dance better than anyone else. I only try to dance better than myself.” – Mikhail Baryshnikov

“May you use all of your possibilities for the benefit of many.” – Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the  Lubavitcher Rebbe

Be Good Do Good Think Good Be Healthy Be You

*From the song “Only You” by The Platters

P.S. The reader that requested this is now “Banned” and “No more soup for you” 😄

Always Giving Your Best Pt. 3

June 10, 2021

We are often told that “you can be anything you want to be”. That’s not necessarily true. If you love basketball, for example, as much as you try (and you should) it is unlikely that you will ever be as good as let’s say Kobe Bryant was.  Yet no one can be as good at the something that you were meant to be as you can.  Only you can be the “Best-Est” at being you.

You will find that something, your purpose, what you’re needed for, by constantly striving to find and reach your full potential in everything you do.  You will ultimately find it when you meld the kindness and compassion of your soul into all of your physical, inter-personal, and material activities.

“Your physical potential while as yet not fully tapped is indeed limited. Your soul’s potential while not yet fully tapped is indeed unlimited”

So let this be another reminder to “Always Give Your Best” in everything you do!

Be Good Do Good Think Good Be Healthy

Memorial Day 2021

May 31, 2021

We’ve recently experienced the temporary loss of some of our freedoms due to the Covid-19 Pandemic.  Let this experience of the loss, be a lesson and reminder, as to just how precious our freedom is.  May it give us a deeper appreciation of freedom.

This year, let it serve as a reminder to be grateful for all of our freedoms which we often take for granted.  So on this Memorial Day, let’s add an extra dose of grateful to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for us.

As we exercise our freedoms, without which we couldn’t enjoy the activities of this day, without which you couldn’t climb your mountain and be you, let us take a moment to honor and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice to attain and preserve our precious gift of freedom.  In cherishing their memory, we remember to cherish our freedom.

The fallen understood this:

“Liberty is one of the most precious gifts heaven has bestowed upon man. No treasures the earth contains or the sea conceals can be compared to it. For liberty one can rightfully risk one’s life”. —Don Quixote

“When you know what you are willing to die for, then you will know what to live for”. — Jewish saying

Certainly something to be grateful for

 Be Good Do Good Think Good

Always Giving Your Best, Pt. 2

May 25, 2021

Here’s a follow up thought to a recent Post “Always Giving Your Best”

We’ve all said to ourselves or to others

“I did the best I could”

or

“Im doing my best”

That’s how we might rationalize to ourselves and/or to others when we don’t get the results we were aiming for.

Be honest with yourself, and that’s hard, and ask yourself, “Did you” or “Are You”

How do you even know if you did or are?

Try This 

The next time you workout, set a goal to go just a little further than the last time, or what you think is your limit.  If you’re running – go a little further or a little faster.  If you’re lifting weights, or doing pushups –  do one more rep.  I think you get the idea

When you do that that you may surprise yourself.  Consciously and unconsciously, you will learn that while your physical potential is limited, it is indeed greater than you presently think.

So when life presents it’s challenges, you will know what your best is and that it’s more.  You will be confident and believe in yourself.  You can use that confidence to take on all the challenges that come your way on your mountain climb. You can use that confidence to realize your dreams and goals.  You will believe you can and therefore the odds are better that you will endure, actually end up stronger, and be better prepared for the next challenge.

Then you can confidently say, “I did the best I could” or “I’m doing my best”!

Be Good Do Good Think Good Be Healthy

More One Liners

May 12, 2021

More Quick Thoughts That Deserve A Lot Of Thought

A champion is not necessarily the winner, but is one who gives their all at every moment in all they do

You are not just matter. It is you that matters.

You matter, not because you are, but by what you do and give.

The I that matters most is the I in kindness

If you are always looking back, then your future will look like your past

If you’re not looking forward now, you will be looking back later

Life like driving, can be very hazardous if you’re always looking in the rearview mirror

If you want to be valued, make yourself someone who is valuable

Bring out the value within

While I’m licking my wounds, someone else is being wounded

I have grown as a person and it is that growth that teaches and reminds me of Robert Frost’s words, “I have miles to go before I sleep”

I am not who I once was and not yet who I will be

A day of fulfillment is a day full and filled with purposefulness

Our true role is to give of ourselves, not necessarily to give our self, but to give of our self

You were given life for this moment, so that you can give this moment life

Time marches on, do you?

All of life’s choices have a price. We can’t choose the price. We can only choose whether or not we are willing to pay it

If you spend all day thinking about what you miss, you will miss today

 Be Good Do Good Think Good Be Healthy

To see the first “One Liners” click here

Always Giving Your Best

April 25, 2021

Imagine that you are at a golf driving range, or batting range, or hitting a tennis ball machine.  You can see the bucket of balls, so you know there are many.  Does that make it easy for you to not put your best swing into each ball?  Do you say to yourself “eh, I’ll get the next one”?

What if you couldn’t see the bucket and therefore didn’t know how many balls there were?  How would you approach each ball?

What if you knew that there might only be one ball?  How would you hit that ball or each ball?  What would you put into that swing?  Presumably, you would give it your best attempt/swing.

In order to make it the best swing, you would focus on all parts.  You would start with the purpose, and to get there you would focus on your stance, your grip, and finally and very importantly the follow through.

Each swing is done with best of you at that moment.  If there is another ball, the purpose in the next swing, is to improve on the last one.  Each ball if approached with your best, is another opportunity for growth.  If approached this way, you will get closer and closer to becoming the human your were created to be and needed for.  You can get there by constantly tapping into all of your possibilities.  Isn’t that exciting and inspiring?  

We always have room to grow.  In order to “climb your mountain” requires constantly growing.

So let’s all hit the ball as if it were the only one 

Always giving your best in all you do, makes each moment the best one yet

Be Good Do Good Think Good Be Healthy

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