Kevin Curwick, a senior at Osseo High School, Minnesota, decided to combat cyberbullying by saying positive things on a Twitter account, aimed at lifting his peers up rather than tearing them down. The Pioneer Press, 9-30-12, highlighted Kevin Curwick and his web posts at months,@OsseoNice-Things, which in just over two months has close to 5,000 followers from as far away as Argentina, and has led to dozens of similar accounts at schools across the state. Assistant principal at Osseo High School said, “words hurt, and that’s starting to hit home.” Since this site became active, Twitter accounts used to attack their fellow students at Osseo High, have disappeared.
The spoken and written word, are very powerful and can create peace, love, and inclusiveness or they can create hate, separation, and discord. Our thoughts and words are streams of energy. These energetic streams shape our awareness, reality, our level of happiness/unhappiness, and even establish how our life will unfold. It is through our thoughts and words that we draw our reality and determine the unfolding of our life.
The laws of attraction state that whatever we are thinking, we draw to our self. Our thoughts eventually create our reality. When we purposefully think about something we want to occur, it is called “intending,” When we intend our energy to create or alter an aspect of our reality and then live as if this change has occurred or will occur, in many instances our reality is thus shaped anew. It is wonderful to watch as a high school senior, who must know the impact of our words, decide to promote kindness and positive energy.
Rabbi Shavit-Lonstein, in his weekly column wrote about Rabbi David Greenspoon from Adat Chaim synagogue in Maryland, who must have an awareness of the effects of positive thinking and changed a traditional prayer, which lists our sins alphabetically (Ashamnu) to a prayer that lists aspirations and goals we can focus on. As this New Year, new school year, and fall begins, I believe this prayer is a wonderful gem we can benefit from:
Applied ourselves to the best of our abilities;
Behaved when tempted otherwise;
Cared for others without self-interest;
Displayed our love for those closest in our lives;
Engaged in making our lives, our families, and our communities whole and healthy;
Fought for the needs of those who could not even speak for themselves;
Gave of ourselves and our resources simply because it was the right thing to do;
Held out hope to those in despair;
Invited more people to have meaningful roles in our lives;
Jubilantly embraced another Jewish practice into our lives;
Kept our tempers under control;
Lived our values publicly and proudly;
Made peace with those with whom we have had difficulties;
Navigated the moral quandaries of our lives with integrity intact;
Offered to make peace first during the course of an argument;
Put the real needs of others above the mere desires in our own lives;
Quit kevtching just to get attention;
Replaced the primacy of the pursuit of happiness with the pursuit of goodness;
Sanctified our lives with a growing commitment for Shabbat and Holy Days;
Tamed our misplaced passions;
Unabashedly said “I’m sorry” in the wake of being wrong;
Vanquished our vanities;
Wasted none of our talents in the pursuit of trivialities;
eXemplified the best of what Jewish values has to offer the world at large;
Yearned to overcome our failures and then acted on that yearning;
Zealously worked for the betterment of all humanity.
Thank-you for reading.