We wonder, “How do I make the world a better place? There are so many things wrong, where do we begin?”
Maybe we begin by looking at all the things that are right with the world and decide what we can do to make it better. Every one of us wants to find a way to make a difference in the world. Sometimes we stop because we think that we can’t really do anything big. However, it isn’t only the big things that make the world a place for all of us to enjoy.
Find a cause — choose something you care about. Look in your neighborhood or school; what needs to be done? Often just picking up trash, recycling newspapers or helping a neighbor with their lawn is a good beginning. We don’t need to do everything, but we do need to do something.
Text of the Week
Rabbi Tarfon was accustomed to say, “You are not required to complete the task, yet you are not free to withdraw from it.” —Pirkei Avot 2:21
• Why does Rabbi Tarfon say that we are not expected to complete the task? Shouldn’t we finish things that we start?
• Often when we think that we cannot finish a job, we don’t even want to start it. Why does the rabbi tell us that we must do something?
• Why is completing a task so difficult? Why do we want to give up when things are hard? Why is it important not to give up?
Value of the Week: Perseverance
The dictionary says that to persevere means to persist in anything undertaken; maintain a purpose despite difficulty or obstacles; continue steadfastly. Synonyms for the concept perseverance include persistence, tenacity and pertinacity. What great words. This value means that we don’t give up because something is difficult. When we believe in something, we must work for it. When we see something that is wrong, we must try to make it right. Rabbi Tarfon knew all about perseverance.
Things to do
• Choose a project to make a better world and set a goal. Don’t give up.
• Get one person to help you on your project and then get another and another.
• Help others to complete difficult tasks. Cleaning up is easy with friends.