Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Slouching Toward Better

I have not made a solid post of my own thoughts (or is “thinking” the word that should be used?). Just to update on life as it’s been recently – not too bad! I’m still writing that book and getting close to a complete first draft of the manuscript. A lot has gone into this – thinking, time, research, energy, and so on. In no particular order, my big worries are:
  • My employer will add his thoughts and revisions to the thing and turn it into a work of utter insanity.
  • The book, assuming it remains pretty much as I have written it, will be seen in the market as not saying something fundamentally unique.
  • The book, assuming it remains pretty much as I have written it, will be shown to rely on lots of flawed thinking.
I have several ideas that I think will make the book palatable and interesting in a marketplace already saturated with science and religion beat downs – usually with religion getting beaten down. Regardless, I will endeavor to write the best manuscript I can and use this opportunity to generate other book projects.

The kids provide such joy to me, even as I get impatient with them and exasperated with the amount of attention they demand. And the wife … well, I would like to see her happier and more cheerful more often. I am resolving to work more around the house.
For Rosh Hashanah, I went to dinner with my parents, then a morning of services with them in Boston, a private tashlich at the lake, and then a morning/early afternoon shul experience with Chabad. It was all very nice. Last year things felt rather flat to me, but this year I have enjoyed the experience. Josh brought his son, a sweet 1.5 year old with a great smile, and my parents were in good moods. We had a nice dinner and pleasant conversation – mostly about the economy, which is on everybody’s minds.

We talked politics, too, but it wasn’t combative. The nice thing about Josh and my folks is that we pretty much respect whatever conclusions the others have reached. Josh is an Obama guy. Dad is a McCain guy. I don’t have a guy, and I refuse to give allegiance to any political figure or party. So we all argue our positions, or lack of them, but eventually these things get left alone. No one feels like the others are stupid for not being persuaded or something. And everyone is receptive to hearing others’ cases, anyway. I wish the world worked more like this.

The next day, the man who gave the Rosh Hashanah sermon gave a rather somber talk about the state of the world. This man is a scholar and someone I would admire greatly if I knew him better. I agree with him that these are times of great worry for what will happen. He discussed how the rabbis often talked about re-orienting ourselves by being better people to others around us. I like this thinking very much. I recall that I can treat the wife and kids better, be more cheerful and helpful, and be more responsible and strong. I can start with them and build up to my colleagues at work and my neighbors. And I can study Torah more, despite my quasi-atheism. I would enjoy this.

The world moves on, and I must move as well. But it is never just me, it’s me and those in my family and community. This can never be forgotten, this need to balance individuality and communal affiliation. Never forget.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to comment if you have something substantial and substantiated to say.