Yesterday I was moved by the wise words from CNN commentator and former Obama advisor Van Jones:
Some things you have to see believe – like what we saw today at the Capitol.
But there are also things you gotta BELIEVE in order to SEE.
I believe breakdowns can lead to breakthroughs if you use them right. Maybe, just maybe, THIS MUCH disunity could open the door for unity 🙏🏾
Jones’ words remind me of the words of 12th century polymath Moses ben Maimon:
Ani ma’amin be-emunah shelemah
“I believe with perfect faith”
When one believes, one’s eyes are open to see things that unbelievers do not and cannot see.
Of course, this can apply to those who believe with perfect faith that the electron was stolen from Trump. Those who believe it, see facts (conspiracies?) to back up their beliefs.
But, there is also the other side.
Those of us who fully believe in democracy and the inherent goodness of humanity see that this is not a time for despair.
Those who believe it can see a new dawn arising.
There is a choice we all must make.
You and I have to make this decision.
Do you choose despair or hope?
Vaclav Havel, the former jailed dissident and popular leader of Czechoslovakia, wrote:
The kind of hope I often think about (especially in situations that are particularly hopeless, such as prison) I understand above all as a state of mind, not a state of the world. Either we have hope within us, or we don’t. . . . Hope is not prognostication. It is an orientation of the spirit, an orientation of the heart. It transcends the world that is immediately experienced, and is anchored somewhere beyond its horizons. . . .
My buddy Larry summarizes this by saying that we make a choice every day whether to live with hope.
It starts with the decision to believe in the future. To live with hope. To know that breakthroughs happen after breakdowns.
I believe and I see it.
I believe with full faith.
I believe that this is a time that calls upon us to have renewed hope.
A black preacher and a Jew were elected to the Senate from the state Georgia.
Let that sink in for a moment.
Think on that when you despair.
Allow your belief in a brighter tomorrow influence how you see today.
Let me end with a phrase my BFF Larry taught me, “I would rather live with hope and be occasionally wrong than live without it and always be right.”
Rabbi Brian Zachary Mayer resides in Portland, Oregon. He is the founder and head of Religion-Outside-The-Box rotb.org, an internet-based, global group of 3.3K+ digital-age seekers. ROTB produces excellent spiritual content.
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My classroom. North Portland. September 2016. This week, I will meet five new sets of students. It’s my seventh year as a full-time high school math teacher. Today is our second day and the second day that I’m not doing any mathematics in the classroom. I’m hoping to...