Jan 15, 2010
A Bunch of Whiners

Op-Ed by Rabbi Yitzchok Hecht: We rather call talk shows and complain on blogs - anything but what is productive.

By Rabbi Yitzchok Hecht

Perhaps you heard of the devastating news report from the Newburgh Free Academy in New York were a 13 year old child stabbed and murdered a 17 year old.

What's crazy about this terrible story is that I'm not even shocked. Broken? Of course! Pain for the family members etc. but while the story pained me I wasn't shocked. No "OMG" kind of response.

That's when it settled in how crazy this world is becoming. How can this not make us so outrageous that we try and do what we can? How can this not shake up our lives? Not bring us to our senses of what is going on?

Americans today seem to be a bunch of whiners and complainers. Instead of getting involved and helping in our communities, we rather call the talk shows, or write on our blogs, and whine and complain. Blaming, justifying, spinning, yapping, doing anything but what is productive.

This story reminds me of two years ago when five 6th graders in Saugerties (NY) wanting to kill a classmate. This was a real danger that thank G-d did not end with someone dying.

How did our society fall so low? How do we get out of here?

One thing we must do is analyze the environment of this child/ren.

When we have a society that every radio show, magazine article and website is filled with what can I do for myself. Loads of advice for me. How I can look better? How I can feel better? How I can have more money? How I can have more fun? How I and how I and how I! This shows us the pulse of our society.

No kidding, we with a selfish self-centered attitude, we are bringing up a generation that can do terrible things, in and environment of me, me, me! If something gets in my way I must eliminate it.

Even the spirituality today is all about me! With millions of book, seminars, retreats you name it, and they got some kind of spiritual something for you. But it's all about me being spiritual. How I can achieve happiness? How I can tap into the spiritual me? How I, how I, how I. More selfishness in the name of spirituality.

What we need is more selflessness. More giving. More thinking what can I give rather then what can I take. More love. Not just talk show rhetoric and blogging. But actual doing! So let us all ask ourselves what can I do this week, or even better today, to give? Creating a healthy, positive and productive environment.

With selfless giving we can reverse this crazy out of hand trade to where the head lines will be filled with "thirteen year old instigates charitable behavior" or "class of thirteen year old's save a life" and the like.

Give to a family member, friend, neighbor, stranger... Give some of your time, money, talent, expertise, warmth and love.

May God bless you and keep you safe!

-- Rabbi Yitzchok Hecht serves as the spiritual leader of Congregation Agudas Achim and Chabad of Ulster County, NY.

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Opinions and Comments
Thank you for giving of yourself to remind us/open our eyes to the value of relationships and for serving as a guide/mentor - something else society has become lacking of, replaced by celebrities and the media.

If we had more value-oriented mentors, almost certainly we would have more of a sense of self, ironically - that we are to serve and foster relationships, and, therefore, our communities, making them more cohesive. Shavua tov and hatzlacha in your continued endeavors.
(1/16/2010 12:19:25 PM)
Perfect timing
Excellent - well read and well said.
(1/16/2010 12:31:12 PM)
I could agree more
(1/16/2010 1:52:05 PM)
t s
But you wrote to a blog.

why waste your time?

just do.
(1/16/2010 4:39:36 PM)
This guy
has no clue what he is talking about
(1/16/2010 7:38:31 PM)
I Totally agree with you!!!!
You hit the mark
(1/17/2010 2:11:16 AM)
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