Jummah Reflection: This Life is Not a Dream
Jummah Mubarak, Shabbat Shalom & TGIF.
I’ve been frustrated with myself lately because I’ve been in a funk and unable to really figure out why, or how to pull myself out of it. Then yesterday I started making a list of all the tragic events that have happened so far in 2016 – or at least, the ones I actually know about – and it hit me that things have been bad this year. Real bad. And I’m amazed we’re all still holding it together right now.
I’m not a Chicken Little. I know that historically times can be ‘good’ and they can be ‘bad’ and it’s not actually an indicator of whether or not the world is coming to an end. But when you’re in the thick of it, balancing ever so tenuously on the precipice of what appears to be a long descent into the darkness of anarchy, tribal violence, regressive racism, and uncertainty – every little thing begins to compound and it becomes very clear how quickly we could ‘lose it all’.
We could lose it all. At any minute. And that’s true even when times are good. It’s just that it’s a lot easier to ignore when times are good. But in times like these, we are forced to face our own personal mortality and the temporal nature of human constructs – whether ideological or institutional.
The human race is a pretty new species but even in the brief time we’ve been around on this mudball, there have been empires that have risen and fallen, dark ages and golden ages, and cycles of death and renewal – enough that we should know that’s how the world works. Not just the world – the whole universe. It’s the fabric of our existence.
All this to say – destruction of the things we hold near and dear shouldn’t lead us to an existential crisis. It should confirm our existence. If we were never in jeopardy, and if things were always good or never changed, we would be dreaming.
Spoiler alert: This life is not a dream.