I have for you today a direct quote from Rabbi Jonathan Sacks:
“So, I tried to explain to the Rabbi the real difference is not between failure and success. The real difference is between failing and giving up, and failing and keeping on going. That’s the real difference in life. And what keeps me going, I explained to him, is the simple knowledge that God lifts us when we fall and God forgives us when we fail.”
I know I have spoken on this topic for the past couple of weeks. Yet, since this is the season of forgiveness, atonement, and accountability, I wanted to speak with you all about accountability.
There is a question I have been grappling with regarding accountability. In my personal life, I have noticed the pendulum swings wildly before it finds the centrist, golden path. When I am either too harsh or too lenient with myself, it’s definitely not great for me– it’s unhealthy, self-destructive, and really doesn’t do me any good in the long run. However, when we do the same thing as a society and in the world, it is so much more damaging because the repercussions are so much more widespread.
In recent years, it seems there has been a shift toward ‘guilty until proven innocent’, as opposed to ‘innocent until proven guilty’. To illustrate my point, I’m only going to share one specific story, since– heaven forbid– I’m neither trying to allow or justify any of the horrid behaviors we have all witnessed.
Rabbi Sacks mentioned a story about Jordan Peterson, a noted psychologist who was canceled by the Cambridge School of Divinity due to a selfie he took with someone whose t-shirt said something inappropriate; it wasn’t anything Jordan had done personally.
What I wanted to share about accountability, is that Rabbi Sacks– at the risk of losing his position at the School of Divinity– still chose to speak up.
My challenge to myself is to speak up in the face of injustice– regardless of if I’m heard– for it is my job to stand up for my fellows, and especially for those who have been wronged.
Please help me; share with me your beliefs. When do we stand up? When do we risk ourselves in the face of injustice? What circumstances are worth standing up for?
This week, I’m choosing to get rid of as many resentments as possible without shaming myself. I invite you all to join me on this journey to a better life.
Accountability, Community, Unconditional Love
I want to remind all of you that you can hear more on my podcast, Showing Up. We have lots of amazing shows with interesting guests on a variety of personal development topics. It would be great if you could also rate 5 stars, review and subscribe to the show. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/showing-up-with-asher-gottesman/id1489856285y