As a matter of reflection, I would like to take some time out for gratitude for things and people on earth, big and small, that changed my life. Who knows, maybe it can change others' lives for the better.
A short list:
My Parents. Immigrants from the tropical island of Haiti came to America in the 60s. I've often wanted to ask them how in the world did they take in America when they came from a country in which there wasn't such a great segregation going on what with buses, jobs, restuarants, etc etc etc! But I dare not. Haitian parents, you just "do as your told!"
My Job. While in college, I made my way by working as a 411 operator, Then later transfered to sales/customer service. I was pretty good in sales and enjoyed (and miss) my big fat paycheck. Though I wasn't religious yet, I did try to give to charity as much as possible. Thank you!
Torah. All the hurt I've ever experienced, all the negativity, it all got pushed away once I began to really study Torah. At the time that I was really getting into it, I was working at a radio station that basically didn't pay me! My money was tied to a condo that I was paying for so I was basically BROKE. Nevertheless, that was one of the most magical time of my life! To just delve into so much learning, such new perspectives, such wisdom. I hardly saw the world around me. Thank you!
Coming to Israel. First of all, I was afraid of flying. My rabbi, Rabbi Raccah advised that I should come here and that gave me the courage. Once here, I had to figure out the culture, the language, everything was new and different. Here, it seemed, nobody cared if you had money or not, what mattered most was how much chutzpah you can muster up! I had to learn, no TRAIN myself to put away my mousy ways and be bold. That was VERY life changing. To be able to argue w/someone even with an audience watching or even to just be a part of the typical bus-ride chat in which people just start talking on the bus ---I was so used to just putting on my stoic bus-look. This took some getting used to. Thank you!
Marriage. This for sure changed my life. I had to realize my weird ways had to go because now I was living with someone! One of my crazy things (I won't say anything too private, hehe) was that I didn't believe in taking any advil or tylenol or anything when I didn't feel well. I would just lay in bed and moan and deal with the pain. After marriage, however, that was not an option. Here I am trying to look beautiful and suave -how in the world could I moan around on a bed. I began to buy medicine. Thank you!
Children. Children have taught me to daven. In ways I never knew I could. In places I never knew I would. With a strength that I didn't know I had. Thank you!
Movies: Certain movies were also very impacting to me. After I moved away from my (very very) sheltered home. I was quite nervous about social interactions. I felt that I just haven't been 'out there' enough to really interact smoothly as it seemed to me that others could. So, I took it upon myself to take myself to movies to 'learn'. That was hilarious. While that experience was entertaining, and somewhat useful, it didn't impact me as much as the following movies did.
Ben Hur: I don't know why, but I when I was a teenager, would watch various scenes from this movie over and over and over and over. Especially the dialog parts. I think from there I learned about people standing for what they believed in.
The Matrix. As I began to get more and more religious, This movie was one of the lst ones I saw. I felt a bit happy that the world was beginning to entertain the idea that perhaps people can be limitless. That this sort of ...."chochma?" was even being received by the non-Jewish world. Thank you!
The Secret. This movie was so positive. While I didn't agree with many points they made, plus, it left me with a lot of questions. the gist of it, the positivity one should have in life, the joy that it encouraged, etc. Those parts were pretty uplifting.
Well, there you have it. Life, or my life anyway, sometimes feel like water splashing through a corridor. I never know what will cause it to turn this way or that way, but it's wonderful. Thank you!