One of my favorite quotes from Star Wars the following:
“Fear is the path to the dark side…fear leads to anger… anger leads to hate… hate leads to suffering.
Yesterday was the second anniversary of the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. Those were murdered that day (Z”l) because they were Jews.
Unlike the America that my parents and grandparents were born into, my early years were free of antisemitism. I lived in multi-cultural world that respected everyone, regardless of labels or ancestry.
October 27th, 2018 changed all that. It was a slap in the face, a cold reminder that antisemitism is still alive and well in the United States. It has been said that time heals all wounds. But time can never take away the pain of that day.
But even with the heartbreak, there is still hope.
Our people and our faith has been threatened countless time over the millennia. But we are still here and we will always be here.
While we carry on as we always have, the memory of those killed that day will live on forever, in spite of the heartache that comes with that loss.
In the Star Wars film series, Yoda was the character whose sage advice went far beyond the limits of the movie screen. One of the quotes is as follows:
“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”
These days, one would have to be living under a rock to see the rise in antisemitic hate crimes. Unfortunately, some of this is due to the sharing of ancient and bloodthirsty lies by foolhardy celebrities. Stephen Jackson is one of these celebrities.
In New York City, Jewish teenager Mark Shepard tried to bridge the divide and talk some sense into Jackson.
Mark is the kid we need right now. By reaching out to Jackson in the way he did, his attempt to build bridges does more than any law can do. Will this get the ball rolling and create the monumental change needed to finally rid the world of the antisemitic b*llsh*t? No, but a simple conversation is sometimes all that is needed to create real and lasting change.
“Do. Or do not. There is no try.”-Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back
One of the more common signs of depression is how easy it is to stay home and do nothing.
The weather in New York City for the past few days has been frigid. Walking outside is akin to walking into an icebox. No amount of layers can protect against the freezing temperature.
I could have stayed in today after completing some minor errands. It would have been easy to say that the weather makes for an excuse for staying in.
But I knew I couldn’t stay home. I couldn’t let the depression win. Not today at least.
It took a lot for me to get out after completing my errands. More than I expected. But I did it. I know that my depression will never go away. But if I have the courage and strength to fight against it, then maybe one day, it will not have the stranglehold it does on my life.
For all of the dialogue in the Star Wars movie series, the following quote from the Empire Strikes Back always seems to stand out:
Do or do not, there is no try-Yoda
Failure is not easy. No matter how hard we work, we will fail at something. The key is how we respond to that failure. Do we let that failure hold us back or do we pick ourselves up, remember what the failure taught us and move on?
One of the truths of life that I have learned is that the true failure is not doing. Failure leads to growth, change and maybe, if we continue to fail and learn from our failures, we may eventually succeed.