Steer Clear Of Past Problems
Avoid asking irrelevant questions about the past that will be annoying to others.
If someone keeps complaining to you about the past, ask him, "What can presently be done about it? If nothing, isn't it better to focus on other things?" If the other person persists on talking about the past, weigh the situation. At times you might be doing someone an act of kindness by listening to him. In other circumstances you are better off ignoring statements about the past and thus teaching the other person it is not worthwhile to discuss with you something which is over and done with.
The past year was a year full of storms and upheavals that came from Heaven, and riots and revolutions that were initiated by man. From our perspective, we cannot say that this was a year of blossoming and blessings. And surely it is not yet clear whether the revolutions herald a better future - or merely change.
Notably, both the revolutions and other surprising, if less dramatic, events that occurred around the world were not instigated by powerful leaders but rather by people deemed much less "important." The results were perhaps familiar, but the processes seem to be novel.
We are provided here an opportunity to enter the coming year with a new outlook: Recognizing, on the one hand, that many of those who are considered leaders are not really great leaders, and should not be expected to do significant deeds. On the other hand, people need not be great leaders to take the initiative and create significant changes in reality.
Scripture advises us, "Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help." (Psalms 146:3). Individuals should realize how much of a difference they can make. Change, in and of itself, is not, of course, the goal; yet well-intentioned, good-willed people can take hope that we need not lean upon ostensible leaders, but can strive to take upon ourselves the commitment to do something for the rectification of the world.
Rosh Hashanah commemorates the creation of Adam, reminding us that from every human being an entire world is created. Through this festival we can start afresh - from a more profound feeling of the personal commitment of each and every one of us, out of greater faith in our ability to make changes, and with the hope that if we indeed do what we can to change for the better, we will also create a better year, a more promising future.
With blessings for a good and sweet year, both physically and spiritually,
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