Finding Space for Gratitude - February 19, 2021

We may not be able to control or prevent life from presenting us with challenges and obstacles but we always retain control over how we respond.

Posted
February 26, 2021
Figure standing on side of mountain with arms outstreatched

Finding Space for Gratitude - February 19, 2021

We may not be able to control or prevent life from presenting us with challenges and obstacles but we always retain control over how we respond.

Posted
February 26, 2021

"There are two ways to live your life. You can live as if nothing is a miracle or you can live as if everything is a miracle." ~Albert Einstein

JFS Friends – 

There is a prayer (Asher Yatzar) that traditional Jews say every morning a part of the morning blessings that expresses thanks for the continuous miracle of our bodies and their continuous proper functioning. In this prayer we acknowledge that our bodies are made up of many openings and hollowed areas and if one of these areas were to rupture or be blocked it would be impossible for us to continue to function.

This prayer has been on my mind a lot as we faced the devastating effects of the recent winter storm. Just like the prayer for our bodies acknowledges – I became aware of how much of a miracle it is that clean water and power are so seamlessly delivered to us most days that we often forget about how complex a system there is that is usually hidden from us that makes this possible.

Like many people across the region I experienced a range of emotions at the loss of power – these emotions included anger that more was not done to prevent this from happening and, in many cases, the responses were not fast enough to get help to those most at risk. In the midst of this storm of emotions I made the decision that I also needed to find room for gratitude. Gratitude that most days I don’t need to worry about heat, water, power or a safe place to live. Gratitude that the community once again rose to the occasion and neighbors helped neighbors – people took family, friends and - at times - strangers into their homes and hearts to help them find what they need to survive.

Later on in the morning service, towards the end of the Amidah prayer we offer our thanks to God and say:

“ We thank you… Every day Your miracles are with us: Your wonders and favors are at all times, evening, morning, and afternoon.”

Today, one of the things that I will focus on being grateful for are my neighbors – the people in my community who find the strength to always reach out to lend a hand and lift up those around them who are in trouble.

We may not be able to control or prevent life from presenting us with challenges and obstacles but we always retain control over how we respond. Viktor Frankl in his book Man’s Search for Meaning, reminds us that:

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

Today I am grateful that I am part of a caring community that always chooses hope and leans in when challenges arise.

Take care,
Carl Josehart's signature

Carl E. Josehart, MSW (he/him/his)

Chief Operating Officer

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