Truth and Justice

Truth and Justice In our morning prayers and Sabbath prayers we reserve truth and justice to the province of G-d. It is as though we only consider those ordinances when we pray, as though these are the only times that we are under the eyes of G-d. And Truth and Justice are relegated and delegated to G-d and to those rare people who have the luxury of practicing it as a consistent part of their lives. Let me postulate a different general principle, that we are all empowered by submitting ourselves to a higher power. Therefore truth, justice and good deeds are the path to power and riches. Our Torah and prayer books exhort us to be better people than we were the day    before. Little steps each day add up to great works and legacies. We all know this, but we feel constrained by the behavior of others. After all there are many corrupt people in this world who hide behind the veil of righteousness. One need look no further than people in positions of trust and authority to find examples of corruption and circumstances that we think “force” us to fight fire with fire — to bend the rules, to deceive, and to win at all costs. But it doesn’t work out that way, does it? As all people are endowed with certain unalienable rights, as stated in the U. S. Constitution, so are they imbued with an innate knowledge of truth, justice, and fairness. It is true no matter where one looks in the world and no matter what religious practices are followed. The knowledge is there, and it is used more than we think. Yet I concede that culturally there is a perception of a divide between what we consider “real life” and the spiritual. Goodness, truth and justice are reserved for special times and special circumstances. The rest of the time we are at each other’s throats.  So how is that practice working out for us? If you feel the world is the way you would like it, then in truth there is nothing for you to do to make it better. But, if like most of us, you see conflict, intolerance, ideologies of prejudice, bigotry and grabs for power based upon an alleged superior world view or G-d view, then we have work to do. In my time on earth I have done good things and bad things. Most of all I have merely existed, doing neither good nor bad, more or less thinking of my life and the meaning of life in the abstract. This Blog is part of a multifaceted campaign of mine to change me, my life, into something more fruitful and more meaningful than it has been.  I reject reflection on my good deeds as an excuse to stop evolving. I can and I will be a better person today than I was yesterday and give thanks to G-d for the opportunity to do so. My prayers remind me of His presence, but it in my deeds that I serve G-d (and myself). If you have seen the movie “pay It Forward” you have some idea of what I am talking about. The idea is simple, and involves no special skills. Observe your environment in whatever way you can. Find some person who is in need of help. If you have something that will help them then do it as anonymously as possible. If you are not sure of yourself, ask. Respect the answer — either perform the mitzvah or move onto someone else.  Now here is the important part, refuse any word or act of thanks and instead, if you were unable to perform the mitzvah anonymously, express your appreciation to the person receiving your help for this opportunity to serve them and G-d. And then ask them to do one thing: ask them to find something good they can do for someone else that day no matter how small. 

You get the idea. Pass this on. Pass this on even to people that you are not sure will receive it well. They will surprise you.

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