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We Need Stitches

February 3, 2021

Very sadly, the United States of America is now anything but United   

We have become torn apart like a big gash that requires stitches to bring us together, and then we can begin healing.  I’m writing this in the hopes that all, no matter what side you’re on, will take an honest look at yourself, your side, and become a stitch.

Here is a story (posted here several times before) and some quotes to read, re-read, and digest.

I am again sharing this true story* below in the hope that it will cause some personal reflection for each and everyone of us.  That this story will then help bring some stitching and begin to bring us all together.

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 witnessed this and called over the older brother.  The Father told him to bring over a chair and he did.  The Father then told him to stand on it.  The boy didn’t understand but he 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.”

Some Thoughts to Begin Stitching

To become a stitch starts with recognizing that you may bear some responsibility in creating the gash in the first place

“No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.” – Stanislaw Jerzy Lec  

Man is endowed by nature with two eyes: one to see his neighbors’ virtues, the other to see his own faults.” – Chasidic Proverb

“Interesting, isn’t it, how one can detect a speck on another’s hair, but can’t see flies on his own nose?” — Mendel Moicher Sefarim

“If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people.” – Virginia Woolf

“Assumptions are the termites of relationships.” – Henry Winkler

In reading this story and the following quotes, avoid the quick natural instinct of ‘yeah, that’s what they do”.  Instead, take an honest moment and ask yourself, is that what I and or my side does?

“Eyesight is of no avail if the heart is blind.” – Rabbi Shlomo ben Yehudah

“A man prefers to believe what he prefers to be true.” – Sir Francis Bacon

“When everyone thinks alike, no one thinks very much.”   —   Walter Lippmann

“Not caring about contradiction is the same as not caring about the truth.” – Jamie Whyte

“The human mind is capable of rationalizing and modifying morality to meet a person’s needs or desires.” – Rabbi Dr. Abraham J. Twerski

“We don’t always see things as they are, we see things as we are” Anais Nin

“When you celebrate the death of your ideological opponents it is worth wondering what your ideology has made of you.” – Rabbi David Wolpe

Until and when we see the other, and not as another, but as a human being, we can’t and won’t heal.

“Love your fellow as yourself” Leviticus

Be A Stitch

Be Good Do Good Think Good Be Healthy

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

12 Comments leave one →
  1. Helen K permalink
    February 8, 2021 6:42 pm

    Thx so much Beautiful

  2. Susan permalink
    February 3, 2021 11:01 pm

    This WILL be shared…and I WILL be back to the BEST class I’ll ever take… So many thanks…Susan

    • Fred Fox permalink*
      February 4, 2021 6:39 am

      Thank you Susan for sharing my sharing

  3. February 3, 2021 12:00 pm

    Thanks for sharing this Fred! I especially like not only the story of the two brothers, but also the quote from Bacon. It is so true that we believe what we want to believe, and in today’s world, we watch news stations that reinforce our own bias. Our online news feeds automatically flow information to us that further reinforces our preconceptions. The real danger in our society is when our online newsfeeds contain misinformation and lies. Those lies and misinformation ultimately brainwash people. The first step in healing is to open a dialog with someone with an opposing view. Listen without emotion. Find some common ground, and they might be able to respectfully listen to you too.

    • Fred Fox permalink*
      February 3, 2021 2:27 pm

      You’re so very right Debra
      Thank you for reading and for the intelligent comment

  4. Lynda permalink
    February 3, 2021 8:56 am

    Thanks for this important message Fred! There can be no healing or unity until we stop the violence and find more peaceful ways to have our voices heard.

    • Fred Fox permalink*
      February 3, 2021 9:13 am

      When we see the other as another Human the violence will stop and then we can listen
      Thank You Lynda

  5. Kirk permalink
    February 3, 2021 8:02 am

    Fred, yes we all need this reminder. We can do better but will we? I pray ‘love one another’

    • Fred Fox permalink*
      February 3, 2021 9:11 am

      We can and to think positive I will say will but probably not as quickly as we would like. I just hope that this post in some way can begin it
      Thank You Kirk

  6. Alison permalink
    February 3, 2021 6:58 am

    Dear Fred,

    Be a stitch! What a great metaphor!

    The first thing that comes to mind is be a great listener. Not just hearing the words from another, but to hear them with empathy. To empathize.

    Also, to be very honest with myself takes a lot of courage.

    Being a stitch seems to me like a true hero’s journey – one that we all need to participate in to create healing. Every stitch is important. It’s not someone else’s job, or responsibility. We are all being called forth. We all need to answer the calling.

    Thank you for the thought-provoking message this morning. What a great way to start the day!


    • Fred Fox permalink*
      February 3, 2021 7:02 am

      You are so right and so well said. I might make you write the next post
      Thank you Alison

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