The Fifth New Year + A life of meaning

A synagogue group goes to the ballgame together

Does your life have meaning?
Tomorrow we will all begin writing 2013 on paperwork. Jewish or not, a new year begins for us all at midnight on December 31. Many of us make resolutions; we will – lose weight, start jogging, clean out the closet, tidy up the garage. We set tasks for ourselves that we should do but we don’t particularly want to do. I want to suggest a different resolution. Sit for a few minutes and think about what is missing from your life. A sense of community, a feeling that other people give a damn about you? A feeling of being needed, of being important to someone? A feeling of safety, that there are people that have your back should things get bad? A sense of that your life matters? A belief that you are contributing to the goodness of our world?

How can you create that for yourself?
Join a community. Frankly, nice as some communities are – the school PTA, the lunch bunch at work, your hiking group, they are all transient. Look for a community that already exists without you and will continue after you are gone. Spiritual community, whether Jewish, Christian, Muslim or Hindu, has a wholeness with or without you and that’s good. You don’t have to believe in God to be part of such a community. Granted, it is especially easy to be part of a synagogue as a nonbeliever but churches can work too. Just don’t focus on their God language, focus on their deeds of kindness.

What will you receive in return? If you are sick, they will bring food and comfort. If you are lonely, you can join them for regular activities and make new friends. If you aren’t able to pick up your child, someone will pick them up for you. You can take adult classes, expand your mind. You can join a committee, help out. You can go with an organized group to feed hungry people at a shelter – you can create such a group and others will flock to help you!

I would love to hear what you want from community. Or what you already get. Email me when you have a moment and tell me.