I am truly blessed – I’m asked each day to work towards building relationships within our community. Through this work, I have learned that these individual relationships are the strands of fabric that hold our community together. I’ve also learned that when we do not invest in relationships, we become agitated more easily, we notice the deficiencies in others first, and we anticipate disappointment. Choosing to invest in relationships lifts us up and we seek out the time to be with one another – leaving us feeling stronger than before.
The “business of relationships” has provided me with the opportunity to see my relationships with greater focus and clarity. I better understand the role I play in nurturing relationships, and have come to see what happens when we do and don’t contribute to relationships. For relationships must be “fed” in the same way that we feed ourselves, our children, pets, and plants. The “food of relationships” are time, attention, focus, and mostly …. our presence.
Far too often we are get trapped in our constant state of – go, go, go – failing to pause, to look around, to see who is sitting right next to us. When we do manage to pause, most of the time, we realize just how much we really want to fully be with those people. However, sometimes we look around and find that we aren’t fed by those who surround us. The reflection period of Elul grants us the time to notice our surroundings and ensure that we are walking towards those relationships that feed us. Once we find community, the task is simple; sit down, be present, and invest.
Building relationships – such a simple phrase. Simple, and active. Because you can only get a return on your investment if you invest. Relationships require work, but work is only tedious if you lack passion for the task at hand.
May Elul provide you with time to reflect on your relationships, to focus on those you want to “feed” and in turn that you may be fed in the year ahead.
I look forward to seeing you at Temple soon,
Peter Blair, CEO of the Levine Jewish Community Center, in partnership with the Board, assures the LJCC’s relevance to the community, the accomplishment of the mission and vision, and the accountability to the LJCC’s constituents. Peter, a Sustaining Member of TBE, is from Memphis, TN and holds a BA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has two children, Hudson (12) and Cohen (11). Peter feels it is important to give back to community, build upon the strength and success of past leaders, foster community partnerships, and build the groundwork for a sustainable and meaningful tomorrow.