What if we replaced "self" with "other"?

I woke up this morning feeling like summer is in full swing! Which, for me, means moving a little bit slower, simply savoring the warmth of the sun, and experiencing a heightened connection with the world around me. 

Whether summer means your world speeds up, slows down, or continues at the same pace, it is my hope that you embrace experiences of connection this week (perhaps beginning with this TED talk).

V i d e o :  "How can we face a future without fear, together" by Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

W h y   y o u   s h o u l d   w a t c h   i t ?
In the context of an ever-changing, fast-paced world, this TED talk offers a short and simple presentation of some complex ideas around self and other. 

By inviting us to consider what it is that we worship (as indicative by our thoughts, actions, and beliefs), Rabbi Sacks challenges us to remember that while we live in a self-oriented culture, we are still social beings requiring connection. 

W h e r e ' s   t h e   S p i r i t   i n   t h i s   v i d e o ?
The spirituality in this video is remarkably approachable thanks to Rabbi Sacks' clear framework and witty vernacular (i.e. he refers to "selfies" as a religious ritual - a notion I quite love, honestly).

While we at Still Harbor explore a trifecta of "relationship" (to self, others, and the sacred), Rabbi Sacks explores the trifecta of "us":

  1. The "us" of relationship - engaging with people who have different opinions, backgrounds, traditions, experiences, languages... (i.e. breaking outside the algorithms that fill your Facebook feed)
  2. The "us" of identity - sharing the story of who you are so that you may be grounded enough in self to openly receive the story of strangers 
  3. The "us" of responsibility - acknowledging that the future is collective; an experience not only of "me", but of "me" as part of "we"

If the concept of the "us" of responsibility resonates with you, I encourage you to also read (or perhaps re-read) "Who Shall Live? A theology of collective responsibility" by Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg from Anchor Issue 06.

Please share your thoughts, reactions, or questions in response to this video; I'm all eyes, ears, and heart: lauren@stillharbor.org.