It speaks volumes about the state of affairs that when you google his name you get a bunch of links that top the list and lead to discussions about his belly. Does he or doesn’t he have six-packs abs?
I applaud commitment and discipline such as the type exhibited by diligent work outs, but these abs become for me a symbol for more than meets the eye.
As he takes the stage today in Tampa I want to share a thought (a rant?) about the kind of change it’s great to want and the kinds of change that are possibly destructive.
Everybody wants change. Everybody, always, wants to change something about their lives or the world around them: big or small, waist size or the color of the curtains or local poverty or global peace or just making someone smile a little more.
There’s lots of talk of change in the Political arena these days – or resistance to change. And on a more specific calendar, these Jewish days of change are the annual kick in our butts to get back to change, get in shape – mind, soul and also body – to do it slowly, wisely and with care.
Teshuva, the Hebrew word which means change or transformation is also the word for ‘reply’ or ‘answer’ and the question, timeless and annoying is ‘why is change so difficult?’ or also, ‘what are the really important changes I need to make in my life to be a happier person?”
With a too long list of desired changes we end up spinning our wheels and doing little if at all. Deep in my gut I know what I need to do to make me happier and more productive. What can help me get there? What’s a tangible first step?
First step is reality check. One of the ways I’m trying to deal effectively with the drive for change is by making a realistic list of distinctions and decisions – between the fantasy and the reality. Things I want to change that are in the here and now and doable vs. big and lofty changes that will happen maybe – but not today and not right away. Setting my hopes up on fantasy changes will likely disappoint and make me miserable. I want an honest and doable set of goals. Here and now. Like 50 sit ups every day. Or even start again with only 30. Maybe I’ll get to the P90X one day… But maybe not.
I’m 43. I want to be in better shape, healthy and handsome and strong. I never had six-pack-abs (spent most of my life not knowing that that term existed) and I’m hereby giving up that fantasy – this specific society mandates so called desired change. I want less fat and more muscle – yes. But I also want a change that I can believe in, and hold on to, and sustain, and enjoy – healthy change on a human scale, for the long run. It works for some – but not for all, and I suspect- not for me. Reality matters.
Mr. Ryan, your gut is glorious, so hold on to your guns, (you own some, yes?) and held convictions – you, like everybody else, believes in change, and that is good. Keep it up – the work out and the hope and lets see how this country changes for the better, for the long run, with or without you. As for me, I’m working on a daily dose of small commitments to a better me, more compassionate to all and every other, healthier and honestly more honest, realistic and real about change. One sit up at a time. Enjoy Tampa.
האם יש קוראי עברית יקרים? אני מקבל תגובות בעיקר באנגלית – ותוהה בדבר המשך המפעל העברי של מסע קדם כיפור? אנא – אם יש ענין – נא להודיע. אמשיך לכתוב בעברית ולו בעבור קורא אחד צדיק