Breathing Life Into Life

Sunday, 24 July, 2022 - 11:42 am

From a Torah perspective, we all have an innate sense of right and wrong. When we sit quietly, contemplating our priorities and values, most of us are moral and upstanding.
The problem is that we're not always sitting quietly in contemplation. So we go off the rails. Even though we KNOW we shouldn't act a certain way, we often go ahead and do it anyway.
Maybe it's eating french fries after the doctor warned against it. Maybe it's disrespecting a valued relationship. We know we shouldn't, but…….
Our fundamental moral compass isn’t askew; it’s our lack of consciousness.
When I'm fully aware – truly aware – of my gifts and values, I'm much more likely to honor them. When I'm actively conscious of my tremendous blessings, my life, family and friends, my actions will reflect that awareness.
The trick lies in maintaining an internal vigilance. And that’s easier said than done, since the human psyche naturally gravitates toward a back-of-the-mind, taking for granted, automatic-pilot operating system.
No wonder Judaism has so many awareness-triggers. When I walk into a room and see the mezuzah, it should raise my consciousness. The mezuzah reminds me that the room – bedroom, kitchen, den etc. – isn't simply a place to pursue a narrow, de-contextualized exercise (eating, sleeping etc.); it's a venue for pursuing my overall objective of a meaningful life (through eating, sleeping etc.).
My Tzitzit (the Biblically-required fringes that hang from the little 'Talit' I wear under my shirt) are a mnemonic, a consciousness-prod. When I see them, I need to remember I have a destiny and a reason for existence, and that my next actions should reflect that life objective.
So it's about consciousness.
If I check my 'consciousness meter' as often as I check for my wallet or keys, my 'internal traffic-controller' will perk up. I'll be able to consciously choose, and fully invest myself in, my next moves of the day.
When I’m actively focused on, and attentive to, how I’m living, I become more internally 'alive.' And in this journey of life, 'alive' is the way to go.

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