From the Desk of CEO Judy Halper: December 2019
Reflections at the end of the year
I recently read the following quote: “Wisdom isn’t a quick fix, achieved by Googling or asking Siri for the answer. Wisdom comes through life experience and the sharing of those experiences through the stories we tell.” I’d attribute these thoughtful words to its author, except I don’t know who it is. The comment is a part of a collection of thoughts about mentoring and the value of being listened to and guided. On many levels, these words struck me as profound, related to the ending of another year, and another decade.
Twice a year, at the Jewish New Year and the calendar New Year, the passage of time always provides me the opportunity to reflect for a moment (yes, for possibly only seconds) on what I’ve learned or experienced over the past 12 months. For example, I often hear volunteers comment on how much they have gained in comparison to what they perceive they have given.
Working at Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis among the many compassionate and experienced staff, as I gratefully get to do every day, allows me to feel similarly. I grow so much more in my understanding and perception of the needs and issues that impact those we serve than what I thought I knew. Focusing on strategy and impact is necessary and important, but one must also pause, reflect, listen, integrate, re-focus and re-commit. Another quote from the collection I referenced earlier is, “We are what we do.” While we may choose to have that mean that we are defined by what we do, I prefer to think that we formulate our work and our lives by what we commit ourselves to do.
As we approach a new year and decade, (won’t it be fun to say 2020?), I first want to thank all of you who support JFCS with your time and your resources to ensure we are “Here For All. Always.” You are always available and accessible to help JFCS meet the complex needs of people in need of support – which can be any of us – and provide clients resources and referrals when necessary to locate other forms of help.
Second, I invite you to recommit to envisioning a caring community where – in the spirit of tikkun olam – all are lifted up, repaired, seen, listened to and accepted. As you may have seen through a recent social media message (including in this newsletter), JFCS will do more if you can do more!
May 2020 be a healthy, happy and wisdom-filled year for all of us!