(this is a cross post from the black fire white fire blog)
One of the toughest jobs is to be happy. I look around and see so much hurt, so much pain, so much cruelty, greed, corruption, its very hard to be happy. It also doesn't help that I am in an intersection of two groups of people; both of which seem have parts which have been socialized to defy the natural way of things and live a lifestyle that is detrimental to themselves.
One street is the Orthodox Jewish street. Here people are encouraged to learn and learn and learn as much Torah that can fit in their heads -even cancelling or not going to doctors or dental appointments. Exercise is frowned at. But how can a whole group exist this way? I can understand if they took the best and the brightest. But to expect everyone to be like this, I don't know.
The intersecting street is the BC. Here people are encouraged to not snitch when crimes happen, young girls are left to fend themselves against grown men who know the game. Well. After years of messages denying ones self worth, some are actually buying into that propaganda.
These things are not natural!
In Judaism, there is talk and hope for the geula -the redemption. However, as some say, the individual redemption must come and then the rest will follow.
The way I see it. It is up to each one to say, this is what works for me. As long as its within the confines of living decently and not harming others, all good and well. Don't turn to see what the neighbors are doing, it just doesn't work for you.
You see, as my sister, Chaya, put it, everyone is a part of a big puzzle. But as long as we are not being natural and happy-enducing to ourselves, its like the puzzle piece is flipped upside down. Thus we can't see where we truly belong.
But if we allow ourselves, to be... OURSELVES! Then, only then, will we be truly happy and inspired. This is why it doesn't help to be jealous at a neighbor, they are a totally different puzzle piece -becoming just like them, ruins the real YOU.
One big enemy to this happiness is GROUP THINK. The act of everything thinking the same way, no disagreement, no swaying neither to the left nor to the right. That would be good in regards to the ultimate TRUTH -whatever that may be. But to follow another human being that way, not good.
When each individual can see another doing 'his own thing' and be inspired -even though its not something they themselves would do, this will help each one in their redemption process. What I mean by redemption process is their true self actualization process.
Let us BE!