It’s Friday and if you are like me, and lots of other people, you are already thinking about the weekend. Of course if you hate your job, then you’ve probably been doing that since last Monday, but that’s a whole other conversation. For now though, I want to begin what I hope will be a weekly part of this blog, one which shares a practice that brings a little joy and renewal to our lives, which is what the weekend should be about.
For me, these practices are connected to Shabbat, the Jewish Sabbath, but they are not only for Jews. They are for anyone who wants tools to help them celebrate their lives and the people in them. In fact, they are not restricted to any particular day of week either. I just think that each of them, if done once a week, will make your life better and happier.
Today’s practice is to buy flowers once a week for someone about whom you care, and hand-deliver them if at all possible. Why? Because the experience of giving something living to someone about whom you care, is a powerful thing. Yes, a plant works to. In fact, it may be even better because it is fully alive. But cut flowers still eat and drink, so I think were okay on the living point. And since there is also something to be said for giving to the same person week after week, unless they have a really big house or garden, flowers are better. I suppose a new pet would count too, but it’s one of those gifts that demands an awful lot of the recipient, so I would not go there.
The idea that we can bring beauty into each other lives is an important thing of which to remind ourselves, especially at the end of a long week in which we may have forgotten that. The fact that most people place flowers in public spaces also evokes that memory in a way that can be shared with others e.g. “Those are lovely flowers”, “Thanks, my (husband, partner, friend, you choose) gave them to me.
Just reminding ourselves that we can be the givers of gifts to those about whom we care, restores a sense of joy and capacity with which we may have lost touch. Not to mention the look in their eyes when we hand them the gift. And that is why I like bringing flowers to the same person each week – in my case, my wife. If the week has been good, then it’s a celebration of what has been. But if it has not been so good, it’s a way to start over, remind ourselves that we can actually do that and that we have enough good feeling to do so – I bought the flowers, right?
I love the fact that anyone can do this. You need no special training for this ritual, and it doesn’t cost a great deal of money. It doesn’t matter what else you have planned for the weekend and you don’t have to consider yourself religious or even spiritual for this one. You just need to know that whatever else is going on, there is still some beauty in the world and that you can convey it and share it with others.
Have fun shopping and have a wonderful weekend!
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About Windows & DoorsAuthor, radio and TV talk show host, and President of CLAL-The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, Brad Hirschfield is the author of You Don’t Have To Be Wrong For Me To Be Right: Finding Faith Without Fanaticism. Listed as one of the nation’s 50 most influential rabbis in Newsweek, and a regular commentator on Court TV, he is the creator of the popular series, Building Bridges, airing on Bridges TV, and the co-host of the weekly radio show, Hirschfield and Kula.
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