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Thoughts On Election Thoughts

November 30, 2016

It is not the province of the Spinning Rabbi to talk about politics, so I won’t.

Nonetheless, I am well aware of how difficult and divisive this past election has been.  It has provoked strong feelings on both sides.

I write this piece with the desire to provide some thoughts for all on how we can each heal and come together.

To the Clinton voters

Many of Hillary Clinton’s voters are feeling angry and depressed now.

Anger is energy wasted.  It only keeps you stuck.  That energy can be redirected into positive action to fix that which angers you.  The same is true of depression.  If you allow that which you find wrong to anger or depress you, then it conquers and owns you.  If conquered, you cannot climb your mountain, instead you live life on a merry go round.  Letting go of the hold of anger will allow you to fix that which you consider broken in a positive and constructive way.

“Anger begins with madness and ends with regret.” –  Ben Hamelech V’Hanazir

To the Trump Voters 

Many of you voted for Donald Trump because you believe that things were going in the wrong direction.  You were also upset with how you felt you were treated.

Presumably you are happy now.  If so, ask yourself if you are happy that your side won, or because the other side lost.  One can’t truly be happy when the person next to you is sad.  Celebrate in a way that leaves room for others.

To All

The story below is meant to be considered in order to begin some healing for all.  It will hopefully help and begin to bring us all back together.  Together to create the country and world we wish to have.

There were two young brothers ages eight and ten. The younger brother was the taller one. We all know, and men certainly remember that for boys height is really important. So naturally the older, shorter brother was very jealous of his younger, taller brother.

One day, while playing in the backyard, the older, shorter brother pushed the younger, taller brother into a little ditch. This wasn’t done in order to hurt or knock him down, but rather to make him appear shorter. At which point the older, now looking taller brother gave a “Nah, nah, nehnahna, I’m taller than you!” Their father, a Rabbi, witnessed this and called over the older brother.  The Father told him to bring over a chair and stand on it.  The boy complied and then asked why he was standing on a chair and his father said,

“Whenever you want to be bigger, you raise yourself up, instead of pushing someone else down.”

Bigger here means, bigger than you are now as opposed to bigger than an other.

This is from a true story that we can all store as a reminder for and to ourselves.*  It’s a reminder to ask ourselves, if we are guilty of pushing others down.

Be honest with yourself, as hard as that is for all of us, and ask yourself whether you, or your side, are acting as the older/shorter brother and if so how to change that.  Change that, so that we may all grow.  When we all grow, we will have the world we all wish for.

In addition if you see someone pushing someone else down, in any form, you might share this story with them as a subtle hint.

We climb our mountain by always elevating ourselves.  We do it by elevating ourselves in all that we do. We do not do it at the expense of anyone else, but for our and everyone else’s benefit.  On that climb we may also inspire others to have the strength to make their climb.

Heart and Soul

*The story is attributed to the 5th Rebbe of Chabad-Lubavitch. Rabbi Shalom Dov Ber Schneerson. He recounted the story of his youth that happened with him and his older brother, Zalman Aron. He subsequently became the Rebbe instead of his older brother as well.

13 Comments leave one →
  1. Robert G. permalink
    December 1, 2016 7:08 pm

    Fred–excellent.

    Bob

  2. Krawitt, permalink
    December 1, 2016 6:07 am

    Thanks for the inspiring blog.

  3. Helen permalink
    November 30, 2016 1:46 pm

    Sometimes it is not so easy to stop anger

    • Fred Fox permalink*
      December 1, 2016 6:59 am

      That which is hardest to accomplish is usually the most important to accomplish
      diamonds aren’t found lying on the ground

  4. November 30, 2016 10:24 am

    As usual…another wise message to us all, thanks for taking the time to share. Capt. Kirk

    • Fred Fox permalink*
      November 30, 2016 10:32 am

      Thanks Capt. Kirk

  5. November 30, 2016 8:53 am

    Very well said. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Deborah permalink
    November 30, 2016 8:17 am

    Great story Fred…. Thank you!

    • Fred Fox permalink*
      November 30, 2016 9:06 am

      Thank you Deborah. I am touched that you read it and that it touched you!

  7. Jocko permalink
    November 30, 2016 7:46 am

    Thank you, Fred. As a great teacher I know used to say at the start of each class–after having told a short story to prepare us for what would be a hard go….”With that in mind, let’s ride!”

    I’m normally an OK rider, but your reminders about the depth of this ole human condition and the opportunities we have, were always moving. I remember a woman wearing a post-radiation/chemo scarf who you acknowledged and thanked for joining us one morning.

    I was an amazing rider that morning.–simply because a “switch” had been thrown and I was thinking of someone else for a change.

    Your stories are always appreciated. When I am able to “break away” from my smaller concerns, I’m able either to share those stories when appropriate–or at least make a stab at living them.

    Keep them coming. When I wake up some mornings ready to grouse and kvetch–rather than being ready to be my best Moishe, a “story” can make all the difference in helping me do better. Best, J.

    • Fred Fox permalink*
      November 30, 2016 9:31 am

      Thank you Jocko. As always you write the most thoughtful and inspiring comments. Perhaps, I should designate you the back-up Spinning Rabbi!

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