By: Romi Morales
As we reach the beginning of the new year, we hope it will be a better year than the last. We have learned that at times there are things that are not in our control, things change abruptly, life surprises us again and again. It is true, that we cannot control everything, but there are at least three things that we can: our thoughts, our words and our actions. In this article we will see how, through these three elements, we can build a good and sweet year for ourselves and for those around us.
Machshava Tova – Positive Thinking
The first step to manifest a good year is to invest a lot of effort into positive thinking. We refer to a set of practices that help us see ourselves, those around us and the world in general in a more positive way. While this may sound simple, the truth is that positive thinking is not so easy, especially in times of crisis and uncertainty.
For this reason, we can help ourselves with some values that act as foundations and that sustain this way of thinking. Some examples of Hanoar Hatzioni’s DNA could be: intellectual curiosity, learning, right to doubt, critical and independent thinking among others. When I put these values at the service of my thinking, any situation can be perceived through a healthy and optimistic lens, since the problems would no longer be seen as such, but as challenges to which we approach from curiosity, and no longer from fear. If we approach the challenges that life presents us with curiosity, then we allow ourselves to learn and therefore also make mistakes and improve. Seeing life through curious and creative thinking prompts us to doubt, to be critical and leads us to reflect on whether what has been done so far is the best, the most effective, the most efficient, or if we can do things different, thus reaching more and better results, or even different results, but that fill us even more with meaning.
Mila Tova – A Good Word
I fervently believe in the phrase that says “Our speech creates reality.” There are many myths, allegories, legends and theories that show the profound impact human beings have on the way they speak to themselves and other people. For those of us who are fortunate enough to educate, it is known that the word is one of the most powerful tools we have. Through it we not only bring our way of seeing the world to our chanichim and chanichot, but more importantly, we create millions of keys that open endless doors to possible paths of personal growth for each of the members who are part of our movement.
Now, in order for these “doors” to be healthy and positive, the words also have to be backed by ethical and moral values that guarantee the proper use of speech. In this sense, if I had to choose one of Hanoar Hatzioni’s values that is closely linked to the good word, I would certainly choose the value of peace. I believe that when we use our words to reconcile, rather than to fight; to heal more than to hurt; to ask more than to teach; to bring closer than to separate; to highlight the positives more than the negatives; to give positive feedback rather than destructive criticism, we contribute little by little to the construction of a much more peaceful society. Peace is not an event that happens from one minute to the next. It is not a paper that we sign. It is a process that we create together, we sustain it over time and improve it day by day, many times also and /or even mainly with speech.
Ma’asim Tovim – Good deeds
It is true that a good thought is very important and even more so if it is accompanied by a good word. But if there is something that the Movement has taught us, is that it is useless to think or say something if this is not supported by actions. As educators we even know that, many times our chanichim and chanichot, peers and other people who observe us, will learn much more from our actions than from our words. This is the strength of personal example, for better and for worse. For this reason, once we understand this, it is very important to be aware of our actions and to keep the greatest margin of coherence between what we think, say and do. This coherence will not only keep ourselves authentic, in harmony and in balance, but it will allow us to act fluently.
It is clear that good actions do not always please everyone. Many times, it is very difficult to decide what actions to take in complex and dilemmatic situations, where there is a clash of interests, needs, and expectations. That is why I believe that perhaps some values can be a kind of compass that orients us a little more to that decision we are looking for. In my humble opinion, I feel that when our actions are based on values such as the Sanctity of Life, Respect for Human Being, Solidarity, Mutual Support, Responsibility, Integrity, Ethics, Benevolence and Fellowship, the chances of making wrong decisions are less and if we are still wrong, of course it is important to have the humility and greatness to recognize our mistakes, ask for forgiveness and try to improve in the future.
We always say that the Movement is a school for life. Sometimes I think we are much more than that. I believe that we are the platform that allows us to live life itself and learn those skills, abilities, theories and practices that we need in these times, to grow as the people we already are, without waiting or delays.
I believe that the Movement, since its inception and until now, has been fulfilling a fundamental role in the personal development, both in childhood and adolescence of hundreds of thousands of people throughout the world, since it has been in charge of providing tools that almost no other educational entity has actually granted so far. In this article we saw only three examples, but the truth is that there are hundreds more.
My wish for this year that begins is that our Chaverim and Chaverot of the Movement, wherever they are, will be able to develop a “good thought” that gives rise to “good words” that will eventually become “good deeds”. I am sure that not only they will have a good year, but also those around them.
En nombre de la Mazkirut Olamit de Hanoar Hatzioni en Israel, Javerim y javerot: Shana Tova Umetuka!
On behalf of the Mazkirut Olamit of Hanoar Hatzioni in Israel, Chaverim and Chaverot: Shana Tova Umetuka!