This week, I ask all of you to help me find clarity on an important question, something that has long impacted my life and is causing me to pause and reflect more than ever.
What is the threshold of self-sacrifice? It is incredibly important to give back to one’s community. To help those in need. To live selflessly. But it is certainly a balance. If you’re not in a proper state of physical, social, and emotional health, you can’t help others.
I recently visited the city of Sederot in Israel, the closest city to Gaza. A city whose residents must deal with the constant threat of missile attacks. Bullets flying. Whose childen are suffering terrible PTSD.
I asked the mayor of Sederot how he could live in such a city and subject his children to that torture. He first joked that he is crazy. But then urged that because he lives there with his family, he is ultimately safeguarding the border so that others in cities and all around Israel can live in safety.
So I pose my original question again – what is the threshold for self-sacrifice? When must we put ourselves and our family in absolute first?
I have spent much of my adult life giving away my time and energy to others in need. Focusing on how to make others’ lives better. This has simply deducted from the time and energy I can give to my children. While I try my best to balance my responsibilities as both a father and a dedicated community member, I am not always fully present with my kids.
Do I even have the right to sacrifice my time with them? To spend countless nights away as I tend to those who suffer? Am I neglecting my own children’s needs in turn? Additionally, what is the consequence of neglecting my own needs and where do I draw that line?
I believe I have come here to help make this world a better place, but I must ensure I don’t shirk my responsibilities to myself or my family in order to do so.
This week, I seek your feedback and your collective wisdom. If you can, please share with me or this group whatever you have learned in your own quest for balance. I know there is much we can learn from each other.
Accountability, Community, Unconditional Love