Me, Myself, and (Hurricane) Irene: The Importance of Daily Personal Reflection
When I heard that a hurricane was coming a few days ago, I didn’t take it too seriously. People tend to get overexcited about these things. But when my husband, who works in a tall building in midtown, got an email from his office that he should clear out the space in front of his windows in case the wind blows them in, I got a little more concerned.
People all over the Eastern Seaboard seem to be taking lots of precautions. My husband bought bottled water yesterday, but most stores in our area were out. This morning he told me that we should have flashlights on hand and take out cash in case the ATM’s stop working, according to an article he read.
While some natural disasters, like earthquakes, strike with no warning, there’s a certain kindness in the way that hurricanes give us a heads up. When we know something big is about to happen, we can make sure that we’re prepared for it.
Unfortunately, we don’t get advance warning when the most serious moment of our life arrives – the end of it. The Rabbis tell us “to do teshuva (repent, improve yourself) on the day you die.” The only problem with such advice is that no one knows when they’re going to die. So the answer we’re given is – “do teshuva every day – for it may be your last.”
People tend to get so caught up with work, children, and just the daily hustle and bustle, that personal reflection often comes only at times like the High Holidays or when tragedies befall us. But we should be considering life’s most important questions every day. “”How am I fulfilling my purpose here?” “Which of my traits need working on?” “What steps am I taking to improve them?”
Though we won’t know when it will strike, death is one storm we all must weather. Let’s do our best to be prepared.