Personal responsibility. Simple words, yet they take a lifetime to master. Particularly now – in these politically charged and turbulent times when it is easy to get swept along with partisan fervor and be either boiling mad or ecstatic depending on the day’s news – it is far too tempting to forget to be courteous to those we interact with, dedicated to our family at home, and in general to be an upstanding human being and Yid.
It matters little whether this country is acting like a terrorist state or is the best thing that happened to this world (both opinions commonly held today). We need to act in a morally responsible and kind manner.
It’s easy to look at the news and take weight off your chest thinking, “I’m not like that!” First of all, neither are most of the people in this country. We see the worst behavior in the news simply because it is unusual, and thus news-worthy, at least to some.
But that’s beside the point. The only question we will be called to answer when we reach 120 is how was our behavior. This seems small and trivial in the big scheme of world-wide disasters or miracles (again, depending on what you see), yet that’s the question we will be asked.
What will our answer be? Will we be happy with it?
The “Three Weeks,” which naturally have a subdued tone to them, is a good time to reflect on this and with Hashem’s help improve in the areas lacking.
The two main fasts fall out on Shabbos this year, giving us a taste of the time when “the fast days shall turn into yomim tovim.” May it yet be this year.
Wishing you joyful Shabbos and a meaningful fast,