Do you know that great Burt Bachrach song, “What the World Needs Now is Love, Sweet Love?” Very true.
But the world also needs Shalom. Shalom is peace, wholeness, integrity. It is grace, fullness, trust. (For an understanding of the Shalom is really used in the Bible, see chapter 8 of www.rabbimoffic.com/jewishjesus
How do we get more Shalom? We start small. When I was young,” recalled a great nineteenth century rabbi, “I wanted to change the world. I tried, but the world did not change.
So I tried to change my town, but my town did not change. Then I turned to my family, but my family did not change. Then I realized: in order to change the world, first I must change myself.”
Growth Beats Perfection
We can also stop striving for perfection. We will fail–over and over again. It is through those failures, however, that we grow and learn. Consider this wonderful Jewish story:
A student once went to his rabbi with a problem. He said, “Why do we make the same mistakes over and over?” In response, the rabbi asked him to turn around and look out of the window.
Outside was a toddler learning to walk. “Tell me what you see,” said the rabbi.
“A child, standing then falling,” replied the student.
The rebbe told him to come back tomorrow. He did, and then the next and the next day. He saw the same scene: the child standing, falling and standing again.
Then at the end of the week, the child stood… and didn’t fall. The child’s eyes lit up. He seemed to have achieved the impossible.
The rabbi turned to his student and said “So it is with us. We may fall again and again, but in the end, God gives us the opportunities we need to stand up.”