Thursday, September 9, 2010

Celebrations and Resolutions

Today is Rosh Hashanah, also known as the Jewish New Year. Rosh Hashanah (my understanding) is also the first day of the high holidays, a time of repentance. To me, this means inquiry as to what needs to be forgiven of yourself and others.

Tomorrow is the celebration of Eid Al-Fitr, the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting. The purpose of the fast (once again, my understanding) is to develop strength to live a life of purity, patience and obedience.

I find both of these traditions beautiful. I believe we need more reflection, repentance, patience and strength to steel ourselves from temptations. As I have previously said, I am not religious, but I can certainly appreciate what I consider positive contributions from all religions. I believe that as a whole, we need to pull these virtues back into our own lives. Maybe by starting with those we surround ourselves with- our family and friends.

How often have you looked at someone you should know so well, as well as yourself, and realized that you have no idea what they are thinking and who they might be today? This could be a spouse, a friend, a family member, whomever. How well do we know our best friends? Can we recount their deepest darkest secrets, do we even know what they are? When was the last time you had an in depth serious conversation with that person? Can you remember it?

I wonder how often we forget to examine the person next to us because, we believe, wrongly I might add, that we know that person without continuing to reach into their hearts, into their souls to understand them and their wants, needs and desires. This is something we should forgive ourselves and others for, but resolve ourselves to correct and have the patience to do so.

People change. This is a fact. They may look much the same, but new ideas are everywhere, each experience changes us. It is up to each of us to reexamine our friends, family and loves often to learn who they truly are. To share who we truly are with them. Only then can we continue our journey with them. Without that understanding of each other we can easily drift apart, creating conflict and miscommunication.

We are more than just our physical being. We are more than just our actions. We are our thoughts and dreams, our ambitions, our fears, our successes, our failures. All of the things that make us complete are special, unique and, in love, should be shared.

On this Rosh Hashanah, maybe take a look inward and then outward, make your peace with the world and then consider a resolution for this year to be more open to sharing, loving, giving and forgiving of yourself and others. For those who celebrate Rosh Hashanah, happy new year! For those who do not, each day is a day of renewal and you can begin your "new year" at any time, so why not today?

Maybe we can all be reminded that patience is necessary to understand our world and the people in it, during this the end of Ramadan. For those who celebrate Ramadan, Happy Eid! For those who don't, maybe consider introducing more patience and understanding into your lives and celebrate those strengths.

Both are recognition that we should strive to be better people. What a wonderful world this can be if we all try to be better people. Better to each other, better to ourselves, better to the world around us.