A Different New Year

As a Catholic, I’ve always had a deep fondess for the mysterious world of Judism, a world I wasn’t exposed to until my mid-20s. I’ve always found the rituals, the symbolism…. the TRADITION! to be simultaneously fascinating and profound all at the same time.

The last few days have been the Jewish New Year – Rosh Hashanah, a time for less about popping corks and partying,  and more about reflection.

The tradition that I love the idea of is the whole notion of Tashlikh… the idea of “casting off” one’s mistakes (I suppose a bit like Confession – but that was something Ialways found frigtening, going into a dark confessional, repeating the shameful transgressions of my 8 year old self.)

Tashlikh is the ritual of spreading pebbles or bread crumbs near flowing water (like a stream), and shedding your mistakes from the last year, washing them away and cleansing you of the guilt you may still hold.

In what little I’ve ever understood of it, Tashlikh is a time for accouting: for looking back and examing – what could have I done better? Where did I fail others? How did I not live up to being my best self?

To me, this can be applied in a multitude of ways – including business. As managers, as business leaders, as owners … we have so many opportunities to fail, to realize all too late that we could have done better.  We impact our employees and our customers lives – we owe it to them to be as good as we can be, working honorably, passionately, and purposefully.

So it’s during this time of reflection that I take pause; I reflect on the last year’s work… and where I now know better, I strive to do better; scattering the bread crumbs, and letting go of the past. What’s done is done.  Because what we sometimes realize is that others – the customer we were late responding to or the employee we were short with – have already forgiven us our tansgressions.

It’s us who must learn to forgive ourselves.


Category: Holiday ideas

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