A fresh start

By Daniel Bloch, Executive Director, Cape SAJBD

Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are now behind us and hopefully we have all been inscribed in the Book of Life. For the past two Yom Tov editions, I have written about what I am thankful for and also asked the question: What will your New Year look like? We have so much to be thankful for and most likely each of our new years will be completely unique. However, what will be similar is that it will hopefully be a fresh start for everyone. An opportunity to hit the reset button and start afresh. Unfortunately, this doesn’t apply to bond payments, load shedding and school fees. Fortunately, there is quite a bit which is in our own hands and we can be the masters of our own destiny. 

What could this fresh start look like? Perhaps you will start spending more time with your family? Or devoting more time to your career? How about getting into shape for the summer season? (Once my wife sees this, I will have a problem. She will no doubt tell me to eat healthier and exercise more – which will mean a lot more hikes and walks with the dog! They say communal work is about sacrificing for the community – I will literally be giving up morning sleep-ins and late-night snacking. It will be worth it though!)

I think humanity has dropped a few places in the universal rankings – somewhere between animals and meteorites! I know this seems a rather harsh statement; however, after what we have seen happening abroad and at home with protests, kidnappings, killings and the general ill-treatment of human beings to one another, can you blame me for making that statement? There is so much hate in the world nowadays both online and in-person. However, there are more good people in the world than bad and we have to believe that everyone can change. 

As humans, we should all aspire to be better people. But what does a better person look like and how should this better person act? The website www.lifehack.org lists ten ways to become a better person. (I searched Google and there are tons of useful websites, however this one stood out above the rest.)

1. Be willing to change 

2. Stop making excuses 

3. Stop being angry 

4. Be a role model 

5. Forgive someone 

6. Listen to people 

7. Be honest 

8. Do something you don’t want to 

9. Surprise someone special 

10. Take good care of yourself.

This list is definitely something which we can all work towards with objectives that are highly achievable. 

I would juggle this list slightly. Taking good care of yourself should be top of the list – if you love yourself and you are comfortable in your own skin and you are happy with your life, then you are well placed to help those around you. Stop being angry – life is too short for ferribles. This is definitely something that I am always trying to work on and, whilst I do let small things get to me, for the most part, I am relatively calm. (I may have to rethink this as it’s the Rugby World Cup and the Springboks have a tough group to get through – and most of the time the referee is rubbish). 

We can all make a fresh start. It’s what you do and how you do it which will determine your success. Be good to yourself and be kind to others – unless the referee makes a shocking call, in which case feel free to shout at the TV!

Cape SA Jewish Board of Deputies website: www.capesajbd.org, Instagram, and Facebook page.

• Published in the October 2023 issue – Click here to start reading.

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