Monday, November 25, 2013

From survival to success to significance

Imagine sitting in a room with several hundred of your "closest friends."
Imagine listening to your preacher deliver one of the most important sermons of the year.
Imagine he begins a sentence with "I look in the mirror and I wonder, 'Am I living a life of significance?'"
And then imagine what comes next.
Just imagine.

Imagine he looks out across a sea of faces and catches your eye for just a second.
"I look in the mirror and I wonder, 'Am I living a life of significance?' Then I think of (insert your name here)..."

I can't tell you exactly what came next. Because I think I stopped breathing. And I definitely stopped blinking. And, for the first time in almost a decade, I finally felt like I wasn't crazy. When Rabbi Avi Weiss said "...Then I think of Ann Lapin,..." I felt like he "got it."

As flattered as I am that Rabbi Weiss spoke about the work that we do with our babies during his "Shabbat Shuvah Discourse" (And, oh.em.gee, I AM.) I was more overcome with a feeling of belonging, with a feeling of, "Yes, YES! THAT'S why I do it! That's why we do what we do! To make a difference. To BE SIGNIFICANT."

Over the next few weeks, Rabbi Weiss traveled to different institutions, delivering similar talks. His speech to S.A.R. was recorded and posted to YouTube. I've had my hands on it for a little while and am only sharing it here now in part because I am, of course, reticent to toot my own horn but also because up until now, I had been focusing on the part where he mentions me. But that's not what's important. What's valuable is that we are part of a community where action is valued. We are part of a community where we care for the other. We are part of a community where significance is taught. And modeled.

I guess I knew that all along. But it took holding onto this video for me to realize that.

Imagine that.

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