Autumnal reflection

Brown and gold hues shimmered in the sunlight. The transformation and fading of the trees and plants are many times eclipsed by the beauty of the process.

It is the time of the High Holy Days in Judaism. Although I follow another faith tradition, reflectionthe ten-day period from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur is still a time of reflection for me. Autumn seems a perfect backdrop for self-reflection and self-examination.

The morning after Rosh Hashanah began, I awoke not satisfied with myself or my life. morning-lightWhen did everything become a partially assembled jigsaw puzzle? Merely days earlier, it seemed I was so sure of everything.

I needed a long look in the mirror, into my heart and into my soul.

Periodically, self-examination is a good thing; it’s necessary. Delving within helped me realize I was experiencing growing pains. It’s a time of transformation for me, just like the oak tree. Delving within helped me hear God better. Now, I know my next steps.

My mother was right, I’m never satisfied. That’s a good thing. That means I will continue to grow and learn. I will seek and climb. I will continue to reach for more and reach higher.

I will do better for myself and my loved ones and in so doing, I will do better for the world. Each day, I will be proud of how I lived my time. I will begin where I am, with what I have and be grateful for the growing pains — they are part of the sweetness of this life.

Photos: Morning Light, George Hodan; Reflection, Bobby Mikul.


9-11 and worldwide empathy


I will not spend time focusing on the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001.

9_11_cross_copy NYC siteInstead, I will focus on the love and humanity displayed that day, and for days, weeks and months afterward. Americans came together. We forgot about our differences in color, class, gender, age, faith beliefs. We were just Americans. We were proud to be Americans.

As the story of the tragic events began to unfold, we realized that people from around the world were part of that tragedy. Names and photos of people from the U.S. and countries around the world appeared on television. They all worked in the Twin Towers. They all were missing.

America mourned and the world mourned with us. I felt worldwide empathy.

It is time to visit that place again, empathy for humankind. A place where we transcend color, class, gender, age and faith beliefs and see brothers and sisters in need.Cop helps supremacist

Sept. 11, 2001, presented us with opportunities to love or hate, help or hurt. We, all of us, have a chance to show love, give help and make a difference in the life of someone.

Let us start today.

Worsening conditions inside Syria and the region fuel despair, driving thousands towards Europe. News Stories, 8 September 2015.

Worsening conditions inside Syria and the region fuel despair, driving thousands towards Europe. News Stories, 8 September 2015.