August 18, 2017, Israel
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I pour the water into the coffee mug, the little bit of brown powder, the coffee, soon colors the entire contents of the cup. The coffee has given its color to the water.
What colors you?
We go through pain in life, a lot of pain. We suffer in so many ways. As the rabbis say, it happens that a man falls down the question is can he get up. We may add; and how does he look when he gets up? How does his fall color him?
Some who had suffered from drug abuse or alcohol, become healers, therapists and life teachers. Others become angry and abusive, join gangs, and commit crimes, all the while feeling justified. They are getting back at a society that hurt them.
Some turn their pain to compassion and understand, others turn it to anger and a thirst for power and control. They need to control the environment that hurt them. Many young gangsters were badly hurt, they vowed they would never be weak again, they would control their environment, in any way necessary. Life colored them badly.
Others understand that we can never have complete control over our environment, and submit to a higher force, we do what we can within our limits. We accept that some things we can never control.
We are told that we were slaves in Egypt, we were outsiders, as such we have been admonished to always be kind to the stranger in our midst, "for you were strangers in the land of Egypt". We have lived by this motto for thousands of years. That bitter experience has colored our culture.
There is no doubt that life can be hard. We will take many blows and get knocked down, but what is next? That is up to us.
Some of the happiest people I know are blind, or missing a limb, or have lost a loved one. Some of the saddest people I know are very wealthy. How will our life experience color us? Are we the coffee or the water?