Connecting to the World

Last month I wrote about “Connecting to the Sacred” as the second part of our mission statement. The third part is “Connecting to the World.”

During this global pandemic, this part of our mission is blatantly obvious. The method with which to connect has forced us to be tech savvy, to search for ways to entertain ourselves, and to educate us as to how to be creative since we are captive in our personal surroundings.

It struck me that when funding runs out, from school budgets to organizational programming, the first thing to get cut is the arts. To quote the University of Wisconsin’s theater and drama department Professor David Furumoto:

… too often the arts are taken for granted. Perhaps this is a time for us to realize that it is through the arts that we can experience our humanity, the good as well as the bad, and to know that no matter the immensity being faced, artists will be there, in whatever medium they express themselves in, to make us laugh, weep, and perhaps most important, make us think about what it is to be human.

Take a minute and ask yourself how many Facebook posts, Instragram photos, blogs, or TikTok videos made you smile because someone was singing or dancing or painting or acting. How often did music soothe you when you were blue? How often did music accompany you when you wanted to exercise or take a walk?

Right now, people are being more creative so that they can cope with the confines of our new world. They are making art, taking photos, composing music and then sharing it with the world. As we think about what it means to “connect to the world,” ask yourself:

What can I CREATE that can bring joy to someone else?

In Judaism we use the phrase Tikkun Olam, which means repairing the world. Let us find a way to be creative and help ourselves while helping others. Use your paint from the basement, record yourself singing your favorite song, make chalk drawings on your neighbor’s driveway — anything to build this world from love so that we can all heal, TOGETHER.

Olam Chesed Yibaneh
Psalm 89:3
(lyrics and melody by Rabbi Menachem Creditor after the 9/11 terrorist attacks)

Olam chesed yibaneh
I will build this world from love…
And you must build this world from love…
And if we build this world from love…
Then God will build this world from love…