Fight? or Love?

Recently I encouraged us to fight for our sense of well being, that special place of shalom with HaShem, that place of no fear for we have given our feelings of anxiety and stress over to Him. We also fight for just causes, a lifelong passion for me, a reason for my choice of becoming a lawyer. More importantly, fighting for justice for the other can impassion each of us in this world with so many reasons and opportunities to fight to right wrongs. And we often have to fight to see the good in others.

Last week as I watched the town hall meetings between our two presidential candidates, and trying to not focus on politics for the moment, but rather, a bigger issue, I was most moved by the answer to one particular question:

Stephanopoulos: “Mr. Vice President, if you lose, what will that say to you about where America is today?”
Biden: (after a significant pause) “Well, it could say that I’m a lousy candidate, and I didn’t do a good job. But I think – I hope — . . .
That it doesn’t say that we are as racially, ethnically, and religiously at odds with another as it appears . . .
And I think people need hope . . . and it’s not about Democrat or Republican. . . We’ve got to heal the nation . . . and we can’t do it divided.”

I have edited out any references to partisan comments to help us focus on the universal message that I think all of us can relate to – if we as a nation follow the most important responsibility we have to love one another, there is hope for a healed nation, something upon which all of us can agree.

As we fight for our sense of well being during these times of challenge, we refine ourselves for the task at hand – to love our neighbor as ourselves, even in times that provoke negativity and divisiveness. We have to fight to love during these times. The challenge is to not let the sometimes toxic societal environment, which at a minimum subliminally affects our daily perspectives, destabilize our other relationships with community and family. We may have a low level of anxiety induced by our environment which reduces our bandwidth to tolerate other, perhaps typical, daily stresses. We may not even be aware that we already are a little wound before a loved one says a word. We are not only wound, we are wounded, as we spiritually feel the disequilibrium, our better natures fighting to seek the light.

Be aware of how unloving environments, whether in the world, our country, our community, at work or elsewhere, or at home, can affect our ability to love others. Be encouraged to fight to see the good in our fellow journeyers in life. Be aware that each of us can be led away from what is good for ourselves and for others unless we stay vigilant to remember our highest calling –

To love, love, love.

Shabbat shalom.

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