Today I am, what Jewish people say, parve. Parve means not a meat-like food and not a dairy-like food. It’s somewhere in the middle. Eating something parve (which you may notice from time to time on your food labels) means you have no status of being either ‘meat’ or ‘dairy’ – and our dietary restrictions make it so that we may not eat meat cooked with dairy – so no cheeseburger for example, and waiting a certain period between eating the 2 types of foods, depending on your families customs.
That having been explained I use the word parve in terms of how I am feeling when I am neither sad nor happy, just somewhere in between.
We are always affected by our surroundings or events that cause our moods to shift, for the good and the bad. I raise the question as to when do we or rather CAN we change our attitude so as not to affect others? What do I mean?
I mean this: yes the bombings at Boston were a horrific tragedy and a senseless loss of life plus the feeling of American’s security blanket is now altered once more. In Israel we are bombed at least once a month – even just today (and that’s a light estimation) – for no good reason, yet the world remains silent and we must defend ourselves when we take action to protect or defend our countrymen and land.
A friend’s young cousin was killed in an accident. A different friend has so far passed 3 rounds of the X Factor Israel living out her dream. Another friend acknowledges the loss of her husband (2 years ago) with sharing insightful thoughts with close friends and neighbors but at the same time saddened by a new relationship that just wasn’t meant to be. Wild dogs barking in my garden at 3:30 in the morning at a cat that was caught in the trap set by the dog catcher. Child sick with strep throat. A call from the teacher saying your five-year old is just laying on the couch in kindergarten because he’s stuffed and dripping from his nose all at the same time and really just not in the mood to play with anyone or do anything. Slow computer trying to weed out the 113 emails in a timely fashion (haha! – JOKES ON ME!). A friend so over-the-top proud of her Bar- Mitzvah son. For a group of friends thinking of someone other than themselves and helping decorate another friend’s barren wall. For a group of women coming together to cook a 3 course meal for someone, who most never met, after having a baby. Shared smiles and tears.
All causes for the emotional mini roller coaster leaving me today at this point feeling, parve. Neither her nor there but definitely sad for the sad things and happy for the happy things. Balanced out? I guess so. But all these things have swayed me throughout the day and my reactions to separate events certainly as a result of whatever I just experienced. Could I have altered my responses or actions? I’m not sure. Do I wish I had? In hindsight – probably.
The weather outside is gray, rainy and windy – certainly anyone’s good enough excuse to stay in pajamas and cuddle under a warm blanket with a good book or television program/movie. Yet we trudge on doing our responsible things because there is that voice in our heads willing us to ‘do the right thing’ – at least mine does and man is she annoying. On barely any sleep, worrying about sick children, hating all dogs forevermore, I am grumpy. For friends small successes and overcoming emotional burdens, for thinking of others before ourselves, I am happy.
I hope to merit living long enough to see that we may live in a world with no violence, and I pray. I pray that the sick will heal, that the deaf will one day hear, that the blind will see, that the lonely find comfort, that the saddened find joy. I pray that the lost are found and that the people of this world, all colors, races, and religion try to accept that the only way to to truly change is to make changes within ourselves. This was the main point in my friend’s get together, words of wisdom. She brought proofs from the Bible and well, if you’re a believer like me, they made sense. That’s what I walked away with. This knowledge that we have the power to make the world a different place as long as we start with ourselves. Sure, I think I am a good person, but can I be better? Always. There is always room for improvement and I urge all of us to take a look inside and see what we can do to better our lives and as a result the lives of our friends & neighbors so that one day we will merit a world with no enemies, no violence or bullying, no murder, no malice. Kindness and justice for all.