MANY JEWISH PEOPLE begin the day by saying the Modeh Ani ”Thank you G-d for the blessing of a new day.” This prayer reminds us first thing every morning, to celebrate every day. We are blessed to be alive, to have yet another day to experience the magnificence, beauty, love, and opportunities that the new day brings. What a wonderful reason to celebrate.
We don’t need to wait for birthdays to pay tribute to those we love, for Mother’s or Father’s Day to thank them for their dedication and support, for an anniversary to remind your spouse you appreciate him. Let’s take advantage of the moment, embrace the positive and try to find something or someone to celebrate every day.
Bring some home baked cookies for the teachers at your child’s school, some fresh flowers from your garden to your aunt’s retirement home, point out the beauty of the butterfly as it flies by, take some time to enjoy your surroundings. Be mindful of small accomplishments, the wonder of each moment. They provide cause to celebrate.
This morning I began my day by visiting the World Trade Center Museum. So many people began that day like any other, not knowing that it would be their last. I paid tribute to the brave responders who faced dangers beyond comprehension as they valiantly searched and rescued. I hope that each person who perished on September 11th, had found something to celebrate on September 10th, no matter how small it was.
My afternoon was spent watching the solar eclipse, surrounded by thousands of office workers in New York City. These workers were enjoying a natural phenomenon. They left their desks to witness the beauty of nature. In droves they celebrated the world we live in – they made the moment count.
None of us know what tomorrow holds. Pay attention to the small blessings that life has to offer. Witness the beauty of nature. Be mindful of how you live your life. Celebrate every little accomplishment, find joy in the moment – tomorrow is right behind today and who knows what it will bring.
Sue Penn, the Director of Congregational Learning at University Synagogue, is known for being an innovative and creative educator. Sue sits on the Board of Directors for JFFSOC and Someone Cares.