I have been struggling with a question this week, and especially with the upcoming election, it has been playing very loudly for me:

How do I act, when my personal interests are not aligned with the greater good?

For example, as a Jew, do I vote with my allegiance to Israel, do I vote with my pocketbook, or do I look at the greater world, and vote in alliance with what I believe may not be the best for me, nor my people, but will be the best for the masses? Or, do I just disregard all of that, and choose to look out for myself, and those closest to me first?

This same question can be asked with regard to vaccinations, healthcare, welfare, and other areas that make us ultimately responsible for one another.

Truth be told, I was afraid to bring this up, as so much judgement surrounds who one chooses to vote for. If my opinion, or my allegiances are different than those I care about, I fear that they may judge me as being uncaring, unloving, and unconcerned, which is certainly not something I want.

I decided to share this, because I truly want to learn. I want to understand your viewpoints, and I want people around me who accept me, and are willing to love me regardless of my opinions; people who judge me– or shall I say, observe me– by my actions, and not my thoughts, or my beliefs.

Before I address how I decide, I would love to know how you handle these delicate, yet super important issues. How do you decide when your personal benefits are less valuable than the greater good? And for that matter, what exactly defines the greater good, anyways?

I try my best to live by the motto, “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? And if I am only for myself, than who am I?”

I do not need to endanger myself for the greater good, and I am not allowed to only value myself, without taking you into consideration. I am my brother’s keeper, and I must remember that I must think of the greater good. Otherwise, I’m participating in a dog-eat-dog world, engaging in selfish pursuits, and forgetting that we are all in this together.

This week, let’s attempt to achieve this super difficult balance. Yet, more than anything, let’s allow people the safety and the knowledge that regardless of their personal views, we will not condemn them because of their opinions, but rather embrace them with love and compassion.

Accountability, Community, Unconditional Love


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