We all want to do good things for the world — to do our part in making the world a better place. How do we know what we should do? How do we decide on a tikkun olam project that is right for us? Here are questions to ask:
• What are you good at?
• What do you like to do?
• What bothers you about what is wrong in the world? What really makes you mad?
• Who are your heroes and what is it about them that you admire?
• What are you not good at, but might do anyway because it would make a big difference in someone else’s life?
Text of the week
Ben Azzai was accustomed to say, “Do not be scornful of any person and do not be disdainful of anything, for you have no person without his hour, and you have nothing without its place.” —Pirkei Avot 4:3
• There are two words in this mishnah that we don’t often use. Look up “scornful” and “disdainful” in the dictionary. What do they mean?
• What does it mean that every person has his hour? What does it mean about everything having a place? What does this tell us about respect?
• How do you show respect for animals and things? Is it different than with people? In what way?
Value of the week:
Respect is an attitude that has to do with the way we treat one another, the way we speak and the way we treat others’ belongings. Being respectful also include self-respect. A good way to practice respect is to think about how you would like to be treated. When we respect people, animals and property, we show that we value each and every person and thing.
Things to do
• Treat everyone the way you would like to be treated.
• Honor other people’s need for time and space to themselves.
• Follow the rules of the place you are; i.e., school, camp, a friend’s home.
• Demonstrate ways to show respect for yourself.