WHO AM I?
How often do you ask yourself, “Who am I? How am I? What am I thinking about, reacting to, worrying over? Is my behavior the result of my work, news, politics, family, friends, the weather?” I’m checking in on you to see how you are doing. The world has changed, and we must hang on for dear life with our families and friends and continue to stay strong, take care of ourselves – strengthen our minds and bodies…. Striving to be positive and to do good things for each other.
Our personality types and traits affect the ways we view and interpret the world and react to things around us. Our personalities enable us to help ourselves, our families, and our communities in some very significant ways. There are so many roles needed to build and protect our world. Sometimes it takes a lifetime to find your role, and the way we contribute to others and the world can change and evolve as we age.
I tend to want to spend time with people who are the agreeable type – good at getting along with others, who are compassionate, helpful, and accommodating, cooperative, and good natured, rather than short-tempered, hard-edged, sarcastic, rude and vengeful. I also enjoy people who are open-minded, imaginative, and willing to think outside the box. As we age, our personalities evolve. We can take advantage of new opportunities to acquire new skills, participate in new activities, and allow ourselves new and life affirming experiences.
I am thinking about retired adults I know who have participated in Sar-El, the IDF led volunteer experience in Israel. This story of volunteerism began in the summer of 1982, during the Galilee War. Golan Heights communities faced the disastrous prospect of losing their entire agricultural crop. Most able-bodied farmers and other workers were called up for army reserve duty and entire farms, with crops already ripened, were left unattended, due to the acute manpower shortage. Touched by the farmers’ distress, the former head of the IDF Paratrooper and Infantry Corps sent several friends as a recruitment team to the United States. Within a few weeks, some 650 volunteers arrived in Israel to lend their support through volunteer labor. Realizing the merits of that action, those first participants expressed the wish that the project be continued as an ongoing volunteer organization. The participants kept coming back and great reunions were held. Workers shared and collected their stories and ideas. Over the years, volunteers from 70 countries have participated in the Sar-El project. Since its inception, Sar-El has drawn over 200,000 volunteers providing broad logistical support to Israel’s defense and protection. www.sarel.org.
What are you doing out there in the world to leave your footprint and make a difference? I am curious how you’re spending your time. Write back to me and let me know some of your activities. Some of you are engaged as volunteers in politics or service organizations, or projects to educate our youth, improve neighborhoods, or feed and care for the homeless. Others spend time in community art and garden projects and of course, many of you volunteer at Jewish schools and agencies like JSL in many fulfilling capacities. I am grateful to all of you for lending a hand and repairing the world – Tikkun Olam. However you choose to contribute, what you do to heal the world not only helps others in need, it also shapes and enriches who you are becoming.