It’s graduation season. The cessation of one journey and beginning of another. Our own daughter completed her lower school education at Sinai Akiba Academy and will continue her excellent SAA career in middle school. At various graduation ceremonies, I’ve heard advice from teachers and reflections from students. Wisdom that will inspire graduates on what they’ll encounter in years to come.
In discussing the kind of advice we wish we heard during our own graduation ceremonies, a friend offered an observation. Almost every social encounter requires giving a token or getting a token. Meaning, in engaging with others, we may find ourselves depleting our emotional bucket or the opposite. We may find that the encounter fills us up, restoring, and renewing our souls. The key is to vary our experiences: sometimes it’s necessary to share that token and sometimes, it’s more important to receive. Maturation and emotional intelligence guides us through the giving and the getting.
The Hebrew word noten conveys giving. But if you notice the Hebrew, you’ll realize that the word is a palindrome. The word is read the same way forwards and backwards. Which means when one gives, they often receive. And as one receives, there should be an inclination to give. As we walk this world through journeys ending and beginning, we have an opportunity to reevaluate the ways we are built up and the ways in which we build others.
May this season bring you buckets filled with giving, receiving, loving, and growing. Give often and keep your heart open as others give to you.
In partnership with The Jewish Journal, you can also find Rabbi Guzik’s blog post HERE.