Each week we begin our weekly staff meetings by taking turns leading the staff in a brief text study, reflection or d’var Torah. This morning, one of my colleagues shared a reflective piece which I’d not seen before (though clearly others have seen it on the web.)
It’s reflection written by an 11th grade Jewish Day School student from Brooklyn, NY. In response to a school assignment, Chanie Gorkin submitted the following poem entitled, “Worst Day Ever?”
Today was the absolute worst day ever
And don’t try to convince me that
There’s something good in every day
Because, when you take a closer look,
This world is a pretty evil place.
Some goodness does shine through once in a while
Satisfaction and happiness don’t last.
And it’s not true that
It’s all in the mind and heart
True happiness can be attained
Only if one’s surroundings are good
It’s not true that good exists
I’m sure you can agree that
It’s all beyond my control
And you’ll never in a million years hear me say
Today was a very good day.
As we read the piece silently to ourselves, one could hear the hums of agreement and note the nodding of heads. But this was all the more pronounced when, a poem’s end, we were guided to read it once again. However, this time, we were to read it, line by line, in reverse. I encourage you – do it now.
This time the verbal and non-verbal reactions were more pronounced. For my part, Chanie Gorkin’s poem is a potent reminder of a lesson I learn again and again from my reading and practice in mindfulness. We may not be capable of changing all is happening around us, but we have infinite power when it comes to how we stand in the moment.
I pray we each have a day like the one described by reading Gorkin’s poem backwards. And may tomorrow unfold well too!