As many of you may know, I got one of my Master’s Degrees at Hebrew Union College in a program that now goes by the name of Jewish Nonprofit Management. One of the books we had to read in the program was written by the program's founder, Dr. Gerald Bubis, entitled The Director Had a Heart Attack and the President Resigned. The idea being that in times of crisis, how do you get through them?
I have thought of this book recently because I feel like we find ourselves in a similar situation. Our country is being faced with two existential crises, and both have made us feel helpless and overwhelmed. And this feeling has just gotten exacerbated over time. Just when we thought we are getting closer to ending one, we have gotten slammed with the other.
The pictures and images we saw across our screens last Wednesday were haunting. What we witnessed is something we have seen on movie screens, not on our live newsfeeds. Words cannot even begin to capture the emotions people felt as they watched as the US Capitol, the symbol of our democracy, was stormed by US citizens. And now, not even a week after the incident, it still does not feel real. And even more strange is the fact that this took place with the backdrop of the COVID pandemic that continues to kill thousands of people each day across our country and the rest of the world.
Within the last couple of days, someone commented that after testing out 2021, they have decided to cancel their purchase and would like to return it. When I saw this I laughed because I loved the poignancy of it and how spot on it was.
We have been through a lot these past 10 months. At times we have felt that we had hit our breaking point and could not take anymore. Thankfully, we have been able to, even if we have had our moments. It is a reminder of how resilient we can be when we need to be.
Take a step back and just think of everything we have been through and how, for the most part, we have weathered it all.
We deserve a medal… a huge gold medal placed around our neck. Sadly, I am not able to give each of you a medal, but I can give you something even better…. a gold star.
This gold star is not like the stickers you earned or awarded your kids for a job well done. This is a “gold star for life”. It cannot get you anything, nor can it be taken away from you because you have earned it. Although our work is not done yet, we have made it thus far and that is something we should appreciate, recognize, and celebrate.
Keep up the incredible work you are doing. Maybe you can earn another gold star next week.