Next week marks the celebration of Tu B'Shevat in the Jewish community. It's our version of Arbor Day, and is sometimes referred to as the New Year of the Trees. It is not just a celebration of trees, however, but a celebration of the creation of the Earth and all its inhabitants. Many schools use this holiday as an occasion to teach students about environmental consciousness, about recycling and about taking care of the environment. We plant trees in public parks and in Israel and have a special seder to celebrate the holiday.
For me, Tu B'Shevat is about all of these things, and it is also a recognition of our connection... both to the Earth and to one another. As our awareness grows about things such as global warming and environmental pollution, we begin to recognize how our actions impact those around us. We as individuals have a wonderful ability to create change within our own circles, and these circles in turn can radiate out to larger circles. We can use this ability to create positive changes which can have far-reaching results in our community.
Take for example the phenomenon of Facebook. Many of us didn't even know what Facebook was until relatively recently (myself included). Now, all of a sudden we are reconnecting with people we haven't spoken to in 20 years or more. Just yesterday, my wife received an email from a childhood friend she had lost touch with since she moved away from their neighborhood back in high school. And to top it all off, she lives right here in Phoenix. They have plans to get together again in the near future... talk about the magic of the internet!
All of this connection made possible by one person, who knows another person, who knows another person sharing information and history in the tangled web of life. I have no idea what possibilities the future holds in terms of technology and evolution, but I know that people coming together with a common goal and working as one will play a huge role in shaping that future... for better or for worse.
PS. My new children's album, Everyday Blessings, is now available online atwww.cdbaby.com and will be available shortly at iTunes and many other online retailers. Stay tuned for more details...