The month of May has been designated as the month of connecting Israel with Jewish communities abroad.
Essentially it’s not about creating a new connection, rather geared to strengthen a bond that already exists between the Jewish people living in Israel and those who aren’t (yet…).
This is a bond that goes back to the creation of the Jewish nation. It’s a connection that isn’t dependent on external forces. It’s inherent in our DNA, even if we don’t feel or see it clearly sometimes. Even if we occasionally forget it.
That’s also how it is with the relationships between parents and children.
The connection is intrinsic. There may be ups and downs, but it’s part of us from birth and we take it onward when we become parents.
It’s what makes us what we are, as children and eventually as parents.
Feeling connected is existential. Belonging is existential. We’re lost without it.
Belonging can be manifested in one of two ways:
1. By what I receive from others.
2. By what I contribute to others.
Both ways can give a sense of belonging, yet there is a cardinal difference between them.
In the former the feeling of belonging is dependent on receiving from others, which comes with the risk that it won’t be ‘supplied’.
Whereas in the latter the feeling of belonging is always attainable. All one has to do is join/give/cooperate and the feeling of belonging is achieved.
John Kennedy put it aptly in the oft-quoted phrase: “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country”.
Allow me to paraphrase that: “Ask not what your family can do for you – ask what you can do for your family”.
Take this phrase as a basis for what you can expect from your children.
I make no promises but don’t be surprised if this leads to a changed atmosphere in your home. You just never know where a new mindset can lead to…
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