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Posted by Michael Finkelstein | June 3rd, 2019


In my daily life, as I assume in yours, I am exposed to individuals who inspire me. And though this might come across as pollyannaish, there seems to be something special about everyone I meet — what extraordinary challenges we each face from birth on, that allow us to reach the moment of our encounter. And, though we might have learned the unfortunate habit of judging those we meet for their faults, it is their perseverance that I want to call attention to and salute.

Whether we attribute perseverance to the mere goal to survive in physical terms, or the more esoteric pursuit some adopt to transcend the ordinary, each of us spends considerable time contemplating our existence and working hard to keep it going while at the same time valiantly striving to minimize the pain and suffering in order to enjoy as much as we can. Indeed, I believe it is the latter of these two courses that differentiates humans from the other beings that share this planet. And, it is this that I wish to highlight here.

To begin, it is clear, that our very consciousness is what makes it possible for us to experience
existential suffering in the first place. Initially, this might seem like an ironic or perverted aspect of creation. If we were simply “dumb” like the animals, while we would feel pain for sure, we would not be in inexorable angst over when it might end, or how it will affect our fate or those around us whom we love. It is apparent, that we are loaded with programming that deepens our experience forcing us to face something beyond mere survival. Yet, we are continuously plagued with physical challenges, from bad bugs to bad people, and forced into this vortex of pain and suffering.

In fact, if the discussion ended there we could view this as a curse, as some do. However, we are imbued with another gift, that of hope – the ability to imagine a way out, even when it is obscured in the face of the swirling winds of life. And, hope is the basis of the faith we call upon to keep us not only afloat, but rising. And, this is what I look for in the people I meet. Their story, your story, is an extraordinary one and you deserve a lot of credit for all that you had to do to get to the place you are now.

What this asks us to consider is our approach. Do we go to war with what’s wrong and throw all sorts of force at the problems, or do we find a more subtle, though no less deliberate, method to carve our path to a higher place. My hope is that by reading this, you are reminded of the core of what will get you there. Stay with it, in peace, in love.

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