Tuesday, September 6, 2011

For the seasons they are a-changin’

It’s a wonderful time of year. While I love the summer, I really enjoy the change from summer to autumn. Sure, I miss summer, but every season has it’s time and offers specific opportunities that we don’t get in the others. In autumn we get the slightly cooler weather (though you can still where shorts and flip flops), rain (a different kind of rain than summer rain) and of course, the leaves changing colors.

Summer is waning. It is practically over. Think for second about all that has transpired over the last few months: The great stuff and even the not so great stuff. Think about the opportunities taken and the ones missed. Have you ever considered that how we choose to remember our past can directly guide our future?

So summer wanes….And here we stand on the cusp of a new season; one full of brisk mornings that sharpen our senses making us more aware. 

“Fantastic, Jon...That’s quite a revelation.”

I know, I know. What am I getting at? 

We are one week into the month of Elul. This is the time for those cold mornings to sharpen our senses…to sharpen our memories as we probe the actions of our past and look for places us where we need to adjust; to consider our words and attitudes. It’s a time to proactively seek out forgiveness and be willing to grant it. 

Earlier today Yahnatan forwarded me this article on electronic Lashon Hara (literally “evil tongue” though it issued as a term for gossip). I was immediately struck by how slow we can be to consider our behavioural shortcomings with those whom we interact with online.
In the article Rabbi Marc D. Angel writes "Modern technology makes it easy to dehumanize others...." I've seen this to be true. It's easy and even convenient to forget (or to not know) the faces and people behind the words for the sake of "making a point" or "winning the argument". I've heard it said"if you can't beat them with logic then beat them with rhetoric". No thanks. Do we hold ourselves to the same level of relational standards as we do when we interact with our families and friends face to face, or do we give ourselves some kind of special dispensation to say what we want, how we want and when we want?

I can think of no better time to consider these things carefully and to awaken ourselves to the need for us to be reconciled to those whom we may have hurt through our hasty responses and/or harsh words here online.


Carl Kinbar said...

Good post on a much-needed topic.

Jon said...

Thanks, Rabbi Carl.