Monday, February 21, 2011

Mea culpa

A frind of mine posted this little bit of advice from Rabbi Yehuda Berg: "Reminding yourself of your shortcomings, troubles, and transgressions will only trick you into a state of sadness. And bring you further away from your dreams. Be kind to yourself today."

The person who posted this is one of the most creative and compassionate people I know, and I can see why this quote appealed to her. It is a very compassionate thought, and one that points towards the creation of dreams and happiness. It's just kind of a nice little idea.

I, however, am not particularly compassionate, and my talents tend to destruction as much as to creation. So my thought was as I read it was that it seems to me like WAY too many people are willing - eager - to ignore, forget, excuse, and justify their shortcomings, troubles, and transgressions rather than take the time to get up off their dead asses and Do The Right Thing.

In many ways I can't avoid thinking that we have become almost entirely a culture of Forget, Forgive and Rebrand; it seems that instead of Puritanism and religious Awakenings we are all about not reminding ourselves of our shortcomings, troubles, transgressions, evils, pettiness, foolishness, and greed.

It's hard to explain the continual reappearance of Dick Cheney any other way.

So pace Rabbe Berg, I guess my advice to the stricken would be:

"Embrace your failings; they remind you you're human. Recognize your shortcomings; they are as much a part of you as your strengths. Accept that your troubles are often as much your own missteps as others' malice. Regret your transgressions; your shame will help you punish your own wrongdoing.

And then work to reduce and rectify them, so if nothing else, you reduce your chances of kicking your own and other people's dreams in the ass.

Don't be kind to yourself today; be honest with yourself today. Because kindness only forgives you yesterday.

Honesty helps secure you tomorrow."


Lisa said...

Oh, this is a post entirely after my own heart -- thank you! My mantra: "Wake up!", which means, be honest.

Society today does seem to be all about "Forget, Forgive and Rebrand" -- definitely the re-branding. "Abundant" this-and-that; "warrior" this and that. No call to the truth, for we have absymally de-centered that term, casting it onto the rubbish heap of the 20th century for the hopeless rubes to go searching.

It is because we fail to be honest that Dick Cheney continues to reappear in his many guises (thank you Screwtape and Wormwood.)

Being kind sans honesty is pouring honey over decay -- not a toothsome morsel if you care to go beyond the superficial.

Pluto said...

I love your comment and live by it every day. The Rabbi's hear was in the right place but he sure doesn't live in the same world I do where a mistake with a computer will relentlessly and continually punish you every hour of every day until you get it fixed.