Monday, March 2, 2015

Life is Beautiful

      I have a friend who is in her late thirties who was feeling a bit depressed lately . She has a chronic disease . She is single and she was saying how she did not mind the thought  of death. She felt like her life was meaningless because she does not have any children and feels  that no one would miss her if she was gone. Thank goodness I myself am not suicidal and the notion of it is never on my mind. I did not even realize how frightening her thoughts were until after our conversation.
       To begin with I told my friend that I am sure her family and friends would miss her if she was not around. I would miss her. I myself love living. I feel like there is so much to do, so much to experience and so little time to do everything that I want to do. I told her that life is wonderful, it doesn't turn out the way you would expect it to , but its still worthwhile. I encouraged her to explore hobbies and other things that may interest her. Due to her illness my friend cannot give birth to a child. Of course this is upsetting, but the thing is , having a child is not the only important thing in life. Being a parent is  something that I  have always wanted to do , and hopefully will be able to do,  but it is not the only way one can have a meaningful life.
       Years ago I did hear a rabbi at one of the shuls I attend give a speech about while  having a bunch of kids, living in a house with a two car garage are all wonderful, but they are not really what you have to have to be a Torah observant Jew. One is required to observe the mitzvos to be a Torah observant Jew. A novel idea. Its not that all of these things are not things that one should want but if one does not have them all is not lost. The rabbi who made this speech had a congregation comprised of many singles and divorced people, but I do not think that he was pandering to his audience.
        Many people feel like their life does not begin until they are married. People get married at all different ages . One has a life  when one is single. Life is precious and must be appreciated. What if someone never marries ? Does it mean that they have never had a life?
        I think that sometimes people are looking for major things in life to justify the validity of their existence instead of looking at the smaller things. I prefer to look at the smaller picture. I love watching sunrise as I walk to the train in the early morning. The colors are so beautiful . Most of Brooklyn is still sleeping then , so the streets are a bit quieter . Preparing and then eating a good meal is so satisfying Spending time with friends recharges my soul.. The peaceful calm of a reading a book or taking a walk  on Shabbos, seeing little kids dressed up on Purim ,and  sipping a vibrant cup of tea are all simple pleasures that make life worth living.
         Not everyone marries , even if one marries there is no guarantee that one will have a child. . It is important to strive to have these things, but having these things should not  be the only way one can feel like a viable individual.

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