Someone once told me that we make plans, and God laughs. God really does work in mysterious ways and if our lives are truly guided by a higher power and something larger than ourselves (which I absolutely believe!), my life sure seems to reflect these adages. To that end, I am starting this blog as a place to share my personal ruminations on life, parenting (from a father’s perspective), work (especially in relation to a work/life balance) and the concepts and ideas of “menschlichkeit”, or the properties which makes a person a “mensch”.
From Wikipedia: “In Yiddish, mentsh roughly means “a good person.” Mensch (Yiddish: מענטש mentsh, cognate with German: Mensch “human being”) means “a person of integrity and honor.” According to Leo Rosten, the Yiddish maven and author of The Joys of Yiddish, “mensch” is “someone to admire and emulate, someone of noble character. The key to being ‘a real mensch’ is nothing less than character, rectitude, dignity, a sense of what is right, responsible, decorous.” The term is used as a high compliment, expressing the rarity and value of that individual’s qualities.”
I strive in life to lead by example. This is important to me, at home, as a father and spouse. It’s important to me at work, as a colleague, team leader, business owner, employer. And it is how I live my life as a Jewish man working on “gemilut hasadim”, or “acts of lovingkindness” through my volunteer work, as a meal team leader for Teen feed, and through previous board service. I often say to folks I work with that I would never ask someone to do something I was not willing to do myself. Interestingly, it was the thing I most admired in one of my favorite Game of Thrones characters, Ned Stark, the Lord of Winterfell.
I am by no means perfect, nor do I claim to have all the answers. That said, recent life circumstances have compelled me to want to share my thoughts and I couldn’t think of a better way. My hope is you’ll enjoy reading these thoughts and comment back to inspire discussion that lead us all to be better people in this world. We should all strive to be “mensch’s!”