Letter: I pray Zieve picks path of compassion over division
We have all said, written or overreacted to something we have later regretted – a heat-of-the-moment reaction motivated by little more than a primal emotion.
Ideally, we learn from these experiences by realizing a couple of things: first, considering what is causing the reaction and, second, thinking about what the appropriate response should be.
Is our response beneficial for the greater good of everyone affected by our actions, or does our behavior create various forms of division, convincing ourselves that our actions are justified regardless of the detrimental impact it may have toward others?
An example of these points can be found in a front-page article in the March 29 edition of the Beacon (“Electroimpact's Zieve says he's victim of state’s probe,” Nicholas Johnson), which reports how two individuals feel about the same issues from different perspectives.
One individual, who is a very successful businessperson, views the world with an us-versus-them mentality. In their mind, people are separate from each other and should be frequently reminded of their place in society. Although they have acquired great wealth, their views are spiritually, morally and intellectually bankrupt.
The other individual is a devout, spiritual person who views the world as inclusive. In their mind, we are equal in the eyes of God, without differentiation.
They believe that, despite our conflicts and disagreements, we can develop an attitude of acceptance and respect for each other, which would be beneficial for all of society. They have learned from their experiences and faith, and have acquired an immeasurable amount of spiritual, moral and intellectual wealth.
It is from these examples that we must decide which is the better path. How will we respond to any given situation that may conflict with our own ideals? Do we react according to our primal emotion, or do we think about the impact of our behavior toward others?
In closing, I want to share a quote from Daphna Moore's book “The Rabbi's Tarot,” in which she writes, “You must still all your emotional attachments, compose all your emotions and impulses and listen to the words of your inner voice. It might come to you at any time.”
My prayer is that you will choose the path of compassion, insight and acceptance, with the realization that we are all equal.