Tuesday, March 26, 2013
A Passover Re-Post
Last night, after the First Seder, I just drifted away to sleep, as we often do after heavy meals. I was about to post something for Passover before I went out for my morning run when I realized that a few years ago, I already posted something topical. Not to get lazy after being receiving a Very Inspiring Blogger award, but I'd like to re-post this entry from 2011, as I think it says it all (with a few edits and updates).
Today is the first day of Passover -- the celebration of freedom from slavery! I already touched on this theme in my last post, when I exhorted my readers not to allow themselves to become slaves. But that's not the end of the story.
Someone I once knew was a major American history buff. She liked to remind everyone that July 4th is an important holiday because it was the day the United States declared its independence from Britain, but that September 17th is an even more important holiday. For those of us not aware, that was the date in 1787 that the United States Constitution was signed.
However, it's just a lot easier to rest on past laurels and focus on the fact that freedom was achieved, than it is to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and start writing new laws for ourselves. That's the major obstacle the freed ex-slaves had to contend with before they finally got to Sinai. Because they had been slaves so long, they had gotten used to not thinking for themselves, not making decisions, and not asking questions. The only thing they were used to doing was complaining about how bad things were. They may have expected a care-free, work-free life once they crossed the Red Sea, and when that was not made available to them, they just pointed fingers as they'd always done before.
Don't get me wrong, this blog is specifically devoted to helping people with low self-esteem get better and live happier lives. I'm not trying to be another taskmaster. However, one good way to grow self-esteem, besides eliminating those who don't care about you and don't wish you well, is to work at becoming your own person. That means you think, you ask, you build, you create, you act, and you move. Will this suck sometimes? No doubt. Anyone who says work is comfortable mistakenly thinks he's working when he's really not! But this kind of work is not slavery because it's your own work. It's the work you need to do, and should want to do if you really want to be somebody! Complaining about the fact that it needs to be done will just hold you back like all those ex-slaves who complained about Moses' lack of leadership skills instead of developing their own!
How to? You can (a) just accept what the rules are, if you're not in a position to change them; (b) not hold grudges; and (c) try to find ways to avoid or outsmart any bullies or adversaries you may be dealing with (they're not omnipotent by any means). And if you keep your cool and hold it together in the presence of those who don't respect you, you can either (a) find ways to tell them off to their faces, knowing full well that nothing they do to you can hurt you; (b) make them look stupid (easier than it looks); or (c) have them turned over to the proper authorities to face their just desserts without looking like a (sn)itch.
If you want to take the easy way out, you could argue that nobody taught you how to do this, as another complaining slave. Not only would that be a cop-out, it's not even true! The proper authorities of your youth may not have taught you how to do this on a blackboard in a classroom, but nothing can stop you from learning it now.
So for some of you ex-slaves out there, time still remains. Free yourself from self-defeating complaints. Don't just relish the fact that tyranny can be overthrown, be your own ruler afterwards! Build your own Tabernacle, pick your own friends, earn your own money, buy your own clothes, live where you like (without breaking the bank), and be your own person . . . please!
Those who like this, please keep reading. And don't be afraid to comment either -- I know people are reading this blog in the US, Canada, Russia, France, Poland, and other countries, maybe I've written something that got your attention? Say something -- you might be surprised how I respond!
Just as a caveat, I still sometimes complain too, we're all human and life isn't perfect, after all. We all need just a little time to get it out of our systems. But if you let complaints eat away at you, and spend your life pointing fingers and blaming, you'll never be free.
I will be posting more new material, don't get me wrong. But since I've cultivated a few archives with messages that stand the test of time, once in a while I can simply go back to the well, dust them off, and present a few oldies-but-goodies. Since there happens to be a new reader of this blog who's only just getting acquainted with my messages, I think it's only fair to let this new reader see what was posted earlier - shame this person wasn't aware of my blog previously, but these blasts from the past are certainly new to this person. ;)
A Sweet Passover to all those who celebrate!