Showing posts with label Sorry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sorry. Show all posts

October 6, 2019

Teshuva Through An IDF Soldier’s Eyes

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "Teshuva Through An IDF Soldier's Eyes."
He said, just think about it: “You have the chance to say I’m sorry, I regret what I did, and I won’t do it again, and be forgiven — what a tremendous opportunity that is!” I had never really thought of repentance in this particular way…as an opportunity. Usually, it’s more of something that is uncomfortable, difficult, and that we really don’t want to have to do.

So with a few more days to go before Yom Kippur, let us thank G-d for the chance to make amends and do better in life, because this is an incredible opportunity and a true blessing, and one that we do not know will ever come again.


(Credit Photo: Gil Kremer, Israel Defense Forces)
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September 21, 2018

There's A Reason For Everything

I go to the fridge to look for something to eat. 

I find am empty food storage container on the shelf. 

I recognize it from the day before when it was filled with delicious over-baked salmon. 

So I go to one kid who I guess may be the culprit and I ask:
Why did you leave the empty bowl in the fridge and not clean it out when you were done?

She says:
Dad, I didn't do it. 

So, I feel like a jerk and apologize for thinking maybe it was her.

Then I go to the other kid and say:
Did you leave an empty dirty salmon bowl in the fridge?

And she says to me:
I did.

So I ask rhetorically thinking there was no acceptable reason:

Why did you do that?


She says sweetly to me:
My sister was sleeping and I didn't want to wake her by washing out the bowl.

And I knew she meant it. 

I wouldn't have imagined a reason for leaving an empty dirty bowl in the fridge, but it just goes to show not to misjudge people--there is usually a reason for everything. ;-)

(Source Photo: Amazon)
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September 22, 2015

Yom Kippur, When The Masks Come Off

This mask does not mean that Jews have horns--that is a crappy and evil stereotype, so cut it out. 

Masks are dress-up and pretend, like the way most people behave day-in and day-out. 

People imagine and feign to be what they would like to be or what they want others to believe they are. 

Like when someone is gearing up for a fight, they extend their arms, raise their voices, bob up and down to make themselves appear bigger and more formidable than they really are. 

It's a fake out--but perception is (often) reality. 

Similarly, people may wear clothes, drive cars, or live in big fancy homes that make them look well-to-do, but really it's a great act and all bought on extensive credit (ever hear of 0% down!). 

Others may dream of being seen as smart and the go-to guy for answers, the subject matter expert, or the generally wise person for advice and guidance, but are they really smarter than everyone else or do the degrees plastering the wall like wallpaper or titles like doctor, lawyer, accountant, entrepreneur, professor, and Rabbi simply often invoke credentials and an air rather than the smarts that should accompany them.

Even parents may pose for loving pictures with their children, seem to dote on them, and act the helicopter parents, but still when it comes to their own busy schedules, they have no real time or attention left for the little ones--because the parents put themselves first. 

It happens all the time, every which way, the authority figure who really abuses their authority rather than lives up to it. 

People are human, weak, fallible--and the show is often a lot better than the characters behind it. 

But that doesn't mean we stop trying to be inside what we know we really should be--more loving, caring, giving, and good people. 

This is the essence of Yom Kippur to me, the Day of Atonement--the day when we shed all our phony masks--and instead we bear out our sins, bend our heads with shame, are sorry for what we have done wrong, and commit to doing better in the future.

Yom Kippur is the day when all the masks are off--we cannot hide from G-d Almighty, the all seeing and all knowing.  

On Rosh Hashanah, the Day of Judgement we are inscribed, and on Yom Kippur the book is sealed. 

In Judgement, we may enter the court of heaven with heads still held up high, with the same act that we try to show every day, but on Yom Kippur we leave the court with our heads down and our hands humbly clasped, the sentence meted out for who we really are--based not on pretense, but on our underlying behavior.

A mask covers what is, when the mask is off we are left with who we are--naked before our maker, where all is revealed, and we must account for our actions--good, bad, or even just plain indifferent. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 4, 2015

Losing Deadly Control

So today we hear that there was a horrible mistake in which at least 52 sites (in 18 states here and 3 other countries) were inadvertently sent LIVE anthrax!!!

This after a prior incident in December where ebola had been mishandled and a technician potentially exposed. 

Again last August, they announced that a lab had accidentally cross-contaminated benign bird flu virus with a deadly strain of it. 

And there are at least five other major mishaps just since 2009 including more with anthrax and bird flu as well as with Brucella and botulism--these involved everything from using improper sterilization and handling techniques to inadvertent shipments of deadly live germs. 

Also in July, the CDC discovered six vials of LIVE smallpox in an unused storage room at the NIH.

This is reminiscent of similar gaffes by the military with an inadvertent shipment in 2007 by the Air Force of six nuclear warheads while the crew was unaware that they were even carrying it.

And here we go again (a doozy this time), information was disclosed in 2013 that we nearly nuked ourselves (specifically North Carolina) with 2 hydrogen bombs (260 times more powerful than that exploded on Hiroshima) in 1961. 

Yes, mistakes happen, but for weapons of mass destructions that we are talking about here, there are layers of safeguards that are supposed to be strictly in place. 

After each incident, it seems that some official acknowledges the mistakes made, says sorry, and claims things are going to be cleaned up now. 

But if the same or similar mistakes are made over and over again, then what are we really to believe, especially when millions of lives are at stake?

We have too much faith in the large bureaucratic system called government that despite how well it could be run, very often it isn't and is prone to large and dangerous errors and miscalculations.

With all due respect for our experts in these areas, we need to spend a lot more time and effort to ensure the safety of our most dangerous stockpiles--be it of nuclear, chemical, biological, or radiological origin. 

We can't afford any more mistakes--or the next one could be more than just a simple (not) embarrassment.

What good is all the preparation to win against our enemies, if we are our own worst enemy or we have meet the enemy and it is us! ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 16, 2013

So Sorry, Charlie

In the old Starkist Tuna commercials, Charlie the cool tuna thinks he's all that, but he keeps getting rejected by Starkist, because he's just not good enough and then the narrator comes on and says, "Sorry Charlie!"

These days, from my perspective, people often do not take responsibility when they mess up and arrogantly  they can't bring themselves to just say, "I'm sorry"--it was my responsibility, I messed up, and I am committed to doing better in the future.

It's really not so hard to say sorry, if you let your ego go. Most often, from what I've seen, unless the boss, spouse, or friend is just a jerk, saying sorry goes a long way to making things right--it shows you care about the relationship, your human and fallible (like the rest of us) and you are able to introspect, self-help, and learn from mistakes. 

In contrast, Bloomberg BusinessWeek (18 April 2013) says sillily, "Don't Apologize"--that refusing to apologize makes a person feel better about themselves, more powerful, and less of a victim.

Certainly, we don't want to apologize for things we didn't do, when we really don't mean it, or to give someone on a pure power binge the satisfaction of making us beg--in those cases, we should be truthful and respectful and set the record straight. We should also, make it clear that we will not be victimized by anyone, at anytime.

But when we are wrong--and it's not easy for everyone to recognize or admit it--just say so. It won't kill you and you'll usually see the other person lighten up on the punishing diatribe and maybe even admit their part in it or the stupid things they may have done at other times. 

No one is so perfect--despite some very large egos out there. And the bigger the ego, the bigger the jerk. The humbler the person, the nicer and more workable they are. 

Don't apologize for things you didn't do or to satisfy someone's bullying, but do apologize when you could've done better and you are committed to improving yourself and building the relationship. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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