Showing posts with label Future. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Future. Show all posts

August 17, 2019

Copy Any Key

Thought this was pretty cool in Safeway supermarket.

A automated key copy machine. 

You insert your key. 

And out pops a duplicate for you. 

Home, car, business, whatever.

What is happening to that guy who used to work the key copy machine at the local locksmith?

Who says automation and robotics isn't taking and going to take away jobs. 

I still remember that key machine--where the locksmith would put the key on one side and a blank on the other, and the machine would copy the surface grooves of one unto the other. 

Now even that is gone. 

I guess we're lucky still to have keys (for now).  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)
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April 12, 2019

Gotta Love FANUC


I love FANUC industrial robots. 

They are made by a secretive company in Japan and they are #1 in workplace automation worldwide! 

They have over half a million installed industrial robots around the world.

Their robots are on assembly lines making everything from "cars and smartphones to beverages and drugs."  They also are in Tesla and Amazon...so you know they are pretty much everywhere. 

FANUC has customers in 108 countries supported by 263 service locations. 

Their robots are made by...that's right other robots...80% is automated

These robots are strong, fast, and precise, and they can do dangerous work. 

This company is the future of jobs, productivity, efficiency. 

But of course, people are still the brains behind the brawn.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 10, 2018

Space Force: Up Up And Away

Space Force as another full branch of the military is the right thing to do!

The things that get focused on, get accomplished. 

Space is the "final frontier."

And as Gene Roddenberry realized with the creation of Star Trek in 1964, it is the future of Mankind's very survival. 

It's time to stop thinking small as in planet Earth, and start thinking big as there is a whole universe out there!

Russia and China get it--hence their development and testing of anti-satellite rockets and other "kill vehicles" in space as well as lasers and jamming equipment against our satellites, and of course, their plans to colonize the Moon and land men on Mars and beyond. 

Why have we in America only gotten it in Hollywood?

Yes, there have been a few notable exceptions such as President Reagan with his vision for the Star Wars' Strategic Defense Initiative and President Trump with the bonafide stand up of a Space Force.

Some of the Pentagon brass, particularly the Air Force, may hem and haw about the politics of this thing...losing money and prestige for their branch of the military, but their power is not the concern, our power as a nation is!

I envision a day in the not too distant future when the Air Force doesn't run Space Command, but rather Space Force runs the Air Force. 

We need to put politics aside and stop laughing at our own ignorance about the potential of space for our future survival and for conflict. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 2, 2018

Something Better In Store For You

So I recently had what I thought was a big opportunity slip by me.

My first reaction was to be disappointed, upset, angry, and question why.

But then I remembered something I heard the other day:
"If something doesn't work out then it's because something even better is coming."

Wow, that's powerful!

Think about it...

What do we mortal human beings really know?

We think something is right for us--but only G-d really knows what the future will bring.

Perhaps with this or that thing that we think we so want, instead of joy and fulfillment, it's really just heartache or disaster in the waiting.

My father used to say and was so right about it:
"Better to cry now then to cry later." 

G-d loves us and has our best interests at heart--He saves us and has something better in store for us. 

My father also taught me:
"What can any man do to us when we have faith in G-d."

And he really lived that way!

He never worried about what any person or event could do to him--faith always protected him and even when he was sick and was dying, and I asked how he was, he told me:
"I have no pain." 

And I could see truly with his deep faith in the Almighty, he really did not feel any pain--it was amazing and miraculous!

Like my dear father, when I remember that G-d has the whole world in Hands, and He watches over us then my heart is uplifted and all I want to do is sing His praises, and that is what I will do. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 18, 2017

Invasion of Dinosaurs



So what's with the invasion of dinosaurs. 

First one is standing next to the checkout line in Whole Foods in Maryland.

Second one is actually on someone's terrace overlooking the beach in Fort Lauderdale.

Third one is the real McCoy from the Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. 

Certainly, dinosaurs aren't cute and cuddly--even the plush ones from Whole Foods--they'd eat you and I for dinner if they could!

So why do we gravitate to relics from the Ice Age past?

Perhaps, just like looking forward to Aliens from outer space, the dinosaurs represent an important historical link for us, and thus anchor us in a much larger perspective of time and space. 

In a way, it all points to the dichotomy between us as humans with great--almost endless--potential, and yet at the same time, how small we are relative to the enormous dinosaurs that roamed the earth of yesteryear as well as the distinct possibility of mighty extraterrestrials that we may someday (soon) encounter from outer space. 

From this context, I guess what's really amazing is that we, as a people, are still here!

Despite our bad habits and unsustainable living, we continue to innovate our way out of own messes of greed, conflict, contagion, pollution, and resource depletion, and create a future far beyond what destroyed our predecessors or even what may come from current or potential future foes. 

Like the economy, we think we can grow ourselves out of all our troubles--and who knows, maybe we can if we can continue to stay at least one or two steps ahead of all the challenges and threats--but, at the back (or front) of our minds is what if we can't or don't?  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 17, 2017

A Future Beyond Fear

This is my spin on a Jack Canfield saying, but I like it this way:
"The future is on the other side of fear."
Sometimes we feel hemmed in or torn down by life.

And there is plenty of fear of failure and not being able to do what we need to do. 

But the only way to get there is to get past the fear!

You need to look straight ahead into the future of what you want. 

And you need to overcome your worst fear...that you're not good enough, you're not smart enough, you're not strong enough, and you're not beautiful enough.

...and the gnawing feeling inside that you can't do it.

This is precisely when you need to center yourself, strengthen yourself, and pray for G-d's help.

Whether to get over it, under it, or through it. 

The future--your future--is on the other side of that fear--that fear that is holding you back.

No, you're not stupid, ugly, weak, or unworthy.

Yes, you're a child of the G-d on the most high. 

So you can reach deep and reach high to accomplish your mission in life. 

You can truly leap over mountains and even reach for the stars. 

No, it's not beyond you.

It's right in front of you.

Take that deep breath, clench your fist, gird you sword, and ready yourself in every way.

The fear holding you back is yours to conquer. 

And the future is yours to be had. ;-)

(Inspired by my wife, Dannielle Blumenthal)

(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)
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September 6, 2017

Learning To Save For A Rainy Day

This was so funny coming across this big bright red piggy bank in a thrift store. 

What a blast from the past!

I remember having one of these as a child. 

My parents taught me to put my allowance in to save for the future. 

When it accumulated $10, the metal door on the bottom would open and we could put the money in the bank.

It was like a game to try to get to the magic amount and get the register to pop open.

In those days, the bank had little books for your checking and savings accounts, and when you deposited the money, you'd get a line printed with the deposit and new balance printed in the dot matrix print of yesteryear. 

Again, these were all good lessons about savings and seeing the benefits in the toy register or in your bank book.

Maybe these were things that initially inspired me to get my bachelors degree in accounting.  

The discipline of numbers was great, but it was never as exciting as the promise and hope of ever new technology, but that's what added up at the time to me. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 17, 2017

Happy Father's Day

So it's Shabbat and that's one of the wonderful times to look at old photos in the albums and boxes. 

Yes, this was before digital photography!

I came across this art that my daughters had given to my father and mother when they were still alive--I think it was plastered on their refrigerator for a while. 

This photo seemed to bridge the past, present, and future for me. 

My parents are gone now to Hashem--already 2 and 3 years--and I still can't believe it. 

At the annual Mother's Day and Father's Day--it's just another time of year to remember how much I miss them all year long. 

For me now, it is also a chance to be grateful for my lovely children that G-d has so gracefully blessed me and Dossy with. 

Smiles, hugs and kisses, love and caring for one another--this is what life is all about.

Father's Day to me is not about the gratefulness of my children to me, but rather of me to Hashem and them to be blessed to be a dad and have the chance to give back to such lovely children--to the next generation that greatly supersedes me and mine!

So I'm crunched in the middle in time between wonderful parents and beautiful children and as my dad would joke, it skipped a generation (hopefully, not really). ;-) 

(Source Photo: My Girls)
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May 21, 2017

Time Travel Is Real

Sure, we can travel space...from continent to continent, into the depths of the oceans, and to the far reaches of outer space.

But can we also travel time?

Yes, and we regularly do!

Whether individually, in our minds eye, we go back and forth in time--remembering poignantly the memories of the past with regret or with joy and thinking forward in time whether worrying what could happen or eagerly look forward and hope for a brighter future. 

Similarly, as a human collective, we can travel back and forth in time well past our individual recollections and remember, celebrate, memorialize, or eulogize what came before us through generations and millennia and even plan great innovations, feats, and civilizations well into the future. 

Time is but a shadow that is cast off us from the our great Heavenly Father who shines his grace upon us by his creation and is himself timeless. 

In the shadow of time, we can glimpse the externalism of what supersedes our mortality and the significance of us as a speck in time amidst the greatness that lies across the reaches of space and time--that is the soul of the matter. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 16, 2016

To MARS and Beyond

So excited about the new show called MARS (and yeah, it's on National Geographic). 

I watched the season premier and it was awesome!

They did this cool combination flipping between the non-fiction of the here and now on Earth in 2016 with all the plans and advances being made to go to settle Mars someday, and the fictionalized future 2033 actual voyage and colonization there. 

The spaceship, rovers, colony are all pretty amazing and it seems so real like we're practically there!

Elon Musk (SpaceX) does a nice job explaining the vision and the reusable rockets they are focused on to get us cost-effectively to the Red Planet and beyond. 

The imperative is clear for us becoming a true multi-planetary species, so that we drastically reduce (hopefully to zero) the risk of an extinction level event to humanity.

There was a good quote that I remember, something like:

"We go into the dark, so others can follow the light."

The leap forward of us actually making it to and colonizing Mars is so mid-boggling great that just about everything else literally pales in comparison. 

Mars is just the first real step...after that the possibilities are truly endless. ;-)

(Source Photo: here with attribution to NASA Jet Propulsion Lab)

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October 12, 2016

Losing Patience With Tech Progress

We're so close yet so far...that's my feeling as I grow ever impatient with the pace of technological progress. 

We have cloud computing, but still everyone has their own private computing setups everywhere. 

We have mobile computing, but still can't get get reliable service in the Metro and all the other "dead zones."

We have social computing, but still people are so cliquey and nasty and troll and bully each other online and off. 

We have the Internet of Things, but still things don't really talk to each other regularly (except our smart meters).

We have robots, but still they're relegated to factory assembly lines. 

We have natural language processing, but still can't get a meaningful conversation going with Siri.

We have 3-D printing, but still can't get dinner or a pair of Nikes to appear from the Star Trek like "Replicator."

We have augmented and virtual reality headsets, but still can't go anywhere with them without getting motion sickness.

We have biometrics, but still have to sign the check.

We have driverless cars, but still there is a driver inside. 

We have networks of information, but still it's subject to hacking, malware, identity and data theft, and even big time EMP knockouts. 

We have immunotherapy, but still haven't beaten cancer. 


We have nanotechnology, but still we travel through life loaded down with material possessions.

We have food and biotechnology, but still one in eight people are going hungry. 

We have space shuttles and stations, but still can't get a colony going on Mars.

We have big data, but still information is corrupted by personal biases and politics. 

We have knowledge management, but still more than 780 million adults are illiterate. 

We have artificial intelligence, but still it's devoid of emotional intelligence. 

We have bigger, deadlier, and more sophisticated weapons systems and smart bombs to "protect us", but still are no closer to living in peace and brotherhood. 

All this technology and advancement is great, except that we're left hungrier than ever for the realization of the promised technology land, and are really only halfway there, maybe. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 5, 2016

How The Election Makes Me Feel

Ok, this picture sums up my feelings about this election pretty well.

Wait is that the candidates or the way I feel? 

Like the Three Stooges, the pathetic behavior of the candidates is completely crazy and outrageous. 

And who's worse--corrupt  and scandalous or big mouth and offensive? 

We all have have our opinion, but maybe both types leave us dumbfounded and scratching our heads, and even not wanting to vote for either, at all. 

At this point, I think we are all probably somewhat embarrassed that this is the best our country has to offer.

With everyone hating on both candidates, but desperate to save their slice of the American pie, the put-downs, fights, and contempt have gotten completely out of hand. 

There is ZERO problem-solving going on, and we are in ridiculous mode, while the rest of the world spins out of control in the hands of terrorists, demagogues, as well as our global competition out there capitalizing on our incredible stupidity. 

I can only imagine the rest of the world watching our election play out--watching us--and thinking how did we ever get to be the superpower of this world? 

This is the tipping point for our country.

We brought so much greatness to the world, but what is left when we get to the point of candidates that no one can trust, let alone stomach. 

I think all we can do is pray that G-d sends an Independent candidate with true integrity and promise that everyone can really respect and rally around, and not have to settle for either bad or worse. 

A country that is 80% negative about its direction is called imploding and obviously that does not bode well for us or upcoming world events. 

Folks, this is going to take a miracle! ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 1, 2016

Technology Hope For The Future

Ok, this gives me tremendous technology hope for the future. 

This 4-year old kid is working diligently on her smartphone, while her mom is shopping not far away in the clothing store at the mall. 

She didn't seem to care about the clothes hanging all around her or the fun in the mall or really anything else at all...she was content with her tech!

And while I certainly believe in work-life balance and in kids being able to really jsut be kids, there was just something so amazing about the promise of technology, especially for those who are now growing up with it. 

After all, it was very cute how intent this kid was with all the technology power right in the palm of her hands, and I could easily see a budding CIO in the making here. 

And of course, with even better and more capable technology in the future. 

Through technology and belief, we can find hope in the impossible. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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July 4, 2016

What Path Are We On This July 4th?


Over and over again, I hear people say that as a country we are on the wrong path.

According to recent polls, around 70% think we're moving in the wrong direction!

Very pessimistic bunch or something more going on?  

Despite all the technology advances--from smartphones to video-on-demand, drones to 3-D printing--people are still feeling like things are a mess. 

And the upcoming election seems to have given everyone with half a brain, reason to pause. 

The world seems like a very dangerous place these days with a resurgent Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, and ISIS with your guess as to where terrorism of the day will be hitting. 

Moreover, weapons of mass destruction are proliferating from nukes to chemical and biological weapons...can anyone say $350 billion in the next 10 years to modernize America's nuclear arsenal

Deadly diseases from Ebola in Africa to Zika in South America are striking without warning and causing horrible sudden death and frightening birth defects in infant babies. 

The economy and politics of the world are grossly unstable with many banks now offering negative interest rates and Brexit tearing at the very core of the EU.  

Hundreds of thousands are dying in the Arab Spring and Middle East wars and millions of refugees are streaming to Europe and as far away as America. 

Ballooning national debts are leading to the looming bankruptcies of not only Greece, Spain, Ireland, and Puerto Rico, but also the 3 pillars of American entitlements: Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. 

Unemployment shows at a deceptive 4.7%, but yet anyone looking for a job knows this is far from reality, and robots, artificial intelligence, and automation loom large over any future prospects. 

Racism and hate are all too alive and well as tempers seem to be boiling over in city after city, with or without police shootings precipitating things. 

Already as a kid, I always used to ask my dad rhetorically, "What's gonna be?"

As an adult, I understand that this was a question born of the deterioration of the moral and leadership fiber of our society and a future that was far from certain in the inner city or beyond, along with the anxiety born of wanting to have some reassurance that things somehow would end up being okay. 

But things aren't okay in our f*cked up world!

Especially with political jockeying to gerrymandering, from sit-ins to sequestration, from pork-barrel projects to outright fraud, waste, and abuse...the system is getting so broken. 

Now when I think in my head, what's gonna be, my mom and dad are not here anymore to reassure me that everything will be alright, and frankly in this day and age, those reassurances would not even be able to ring true. 

We need change and hope, but perhaps we must look Heavenward for it to come, because down here, things are looking more like a creeping hell, than a heaven that awaits.  

But good people can help to change things...one good thought, word, and deed at a time. You and I can be influences for good, for a brighter tomorrow, for peace, for freedom and equality, and for prosperity for everyone that doesn't buy into the status quo and the spin and lies that sustain it any longer. 

This is our magic wand to wave and wave and make good times based on values and faith return again. ;-)

(Source Video: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 20, 2016

Young Love

So I took this photo of a painting in a home furnishings store.

Just something really striking about it to me. 

The way the women is leaning into the man and his head/face leans into hers. 

Their focus on the drawing or plans in front of them, where he seems to be sketching out their future together. 

Also, their hands touching and almost clasped.

Young love is beautiful.

When people find each other, by some miracle of G-d.

And the chemistry magically makes 2 people like 1. 

The look they give each other, when their hopes and dreams converge.

Best friends, companions, lovers with the potential to grow ever mightier over time. 

Life not without obstacles that the couple must overcome, supporting each other.

Building a home, raising a family, making a future together come true.

When the minds meet, the hearts yearn for each other, and the souls join.

What a time of joy and blessing...a time to live for and to continue the generations forward and build that which cannot be completed by any man alone. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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April 6, 2016

Is There Anyone Out There To Lead

Interesting editorial in the Wall Street Journal today titled, "These Five Are the Best We Can Do?" referring to the current slate of Presidential candidates. 

According to the author, Joseph Epstein: "Viewing the candidates of both parties during the debates, one felt that nearly everyone of the participants was in the business for him- or herself."

Yes, so many people are getting turned off by the selfishness, obscurity and outright deceit, vulgarity, and off-the-chart impractical and impolitic views of the candidates.

Yet the editorial mistakenly attributes the presumed dearth of good-to-great candidates is due to no one impressive wanting to run in the age when "media and Internet are the major instruments of contemporary political degradation."

In other words, no normal person wants to be put under a microscope for their person, rather than their personal views of where to take this country. 

However, this doesn't ring true to me. 

I think that true leaders are and would be willing to endure the scrutiny of the traditional media and social media in order to take us into a meaningful, righteous, and better future--it's simply part of the job like Moses having to endure the gripes against him when he led the Children of Israel out of Egypt and to the Promised Land. 

Maybe the real reason that we don't think we have the quality of leadership that we expect is that there is a perception of a genuine dearth of sincere, unadulterated, whole-package leadership out there. 

Think about it--with a virtually unlimited supply of false messiahs across the leadership spectrum from politics to corporate and religious life--we have been let down by fraudsters, liars, thieves, and sex abusers. 

Like with the Israelites in Egypt who waited hundreds of years for G-d to bring a Moses to lead his people, perhaps we are looking with eyes heavenward for an appropriate gifted leader to take us into the future...and this is more than just what an education or pedigree can provide, but rather a person inspired by a purity of heart and a clarity of vision. 

For that, we need a leader that will not just talk the scripted talk or walk the overconfident boisterous walk, but we need to see the person whose promising words match their deeds and whose heart is aligned with the people and the nation for a truly greater future and not just for the political donations, superdelegate counts, their party nomination and the electoral college votes to land them the coveted Oval Office. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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April 2, 2016

If I Could Get Back Time

My good friend, Jacob Elbaz, taught me this awesome saying in synagogue today:
__________________

"Yesterday is history.

Tomorrow is mystery.

Today is a present. "
__________________


Another way that my dad taught me is this:

______________________________________________________________

Today is the tomorrow that you worried about yesterday. 

__________________________________________

Hope you enjoy these!

(Source Photo: Andy and Dossy Blumenthal)

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November 10, 2015

The Unsustainable U.S. Economy

The U.S. National Debt often touted at an enormous $18 trillion is really more than 3 times that amount and closer to a whopping $65 trillion!

That's when you actually count all the unfunded liabilities for civilian and military pensions, retiree healthcare, social security, and medicare.

For each of the 318.9 million people of that United States, it mean $203,826 of debt or for a family of four that's a debt of $815,303.

Put another way, the entire net worth of Americans is $84.9 trillion, but after subtracting the debt of $65 trillion, it drops to just about $20 trillion--coincidentally around the amount of our new debt ceiling.

Moreover, with the richest 1% owning more than 50% of the wealth by 2016 that leave only $10 trillion or $31,675 for each of us--not so hoity toity for 239 years of independence and founding as a nation or all the blood, sweat, and tears we put in every day of our lives.

In terms of our escalating debt, just this last year alone, social security spending went up to $944,143,000,000 or the equivalent of $6,345 for every American with a job. and this is projected to dramatically rise with the retirements of the baby boomers.

Projections are for social security to exhaust its funds by 2035, which could result in across the board 20% or more cuts in benefits of the already meager program where many seniors end up eating cat food.

Additionally, the retirement age already set to go to 67 by 2027 could be forced to go even higher, and social security would likely be curtailed or eliminated entirely above certain income levels.

Is this the financial security and brighter future we are leaving our children and grandchildren?

We can kick the can down the road, but the unsustainability of it all will eventually come back to haunt us. ;-)

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Pictures of Money)
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October 19, 2015

Washington Like The Powerful Great Falls

We went to Great Falls on the Virginia side yesterday. 

It started to rain a little as we got off the highway, and so we started to turn back disappointed. 

But before we got back on the highway, the rain stopped and we continued our "Sunday Funday" trip. 

With 3 beautiful overlooks of the Potomac River--even on a cloudy, chilly Fall day--it was marvelous. 

Because of the changing weather, it wasn't too crowded and we were able to get right up on the overlooks for some spectacular views and photos. 

At one point a (rescue?) helicopter suddenly pulled up from nowhere beneath the cliffs and was like right there up close in our faces, but we had already started to pull back to the trail and I missed a cool photo that I would've like to capture. 

The current of the water is really strong at Great Falls and an average of 7 people die a year there. 

Also, sometimes there is such enormous flooding that the water crests above the high overlooks--75 feet up!--and overflows onto the park's grounds. 

We watched some climbers scampering along down on the rocks by the water (on the left) as they got close, but not too close to the water's edge. 

As I think about it, living in Washington, D.C., the capital and superpower political hotbed of the world, the symbolism of being on the edge is not lost. 

Some people wade too far and get overcome by the rising water and powerful currents, and others may be too apathetic or fearful to even get close enough to dip their toe in the muddle. 

Even for those that sincerely care and want to try to make a difference in the direction and future of where we are going--technologically and success-wise--it's water, water everywhere.

Like Great Falls, DC runs with a powerful current--a lot of it simply running nowhere, much is hidden beneath the surface, but overall with enough force to shape our country's destiny for better or for worse. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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September 24, 2015

Everyone's Heart Is Something


This video has gone viral since Monday. 

A 6-year old girl instructs her mom and dad on how to treat each other better after her parent's divorce. 

"I just want everyone to be friends."

"If I can be nice, I think all of you can be too."

"I want everyone to smile."

"I think you can get your mean heights to low heights."

"My heart is something. Everyone's heart is something."

"If we live in a world where everyone is mean, then everyone will be a monster. What about the future?"

"If there is a little bit of person, we will eat them, then no one will ever be here, only the monsters will be in our place,"

"I want everything to be good and possible, nothing else."

So innocent and pure are her words.

Yes, a wake-up call to all of us!

If G-d can endow us with such pristine souls, surely we can nurture these and one day return them to the Maker, certainly no worse for the wear, and maybe even some better with good deeds done. ;-)
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