It is often tempting to judge life based on peak experiences and recognition received. We are pushed by advertising and the media to be consumers - to always want more of everything. We are not successful until we have achieved "the American dream." So why is it that so many who have supposedly accomplished this goal are so unhappy in their daily lives?
In my humble opinion, it is because those things that we are looking for - those awards, those bonuses, those big screen tv's - make up such a small percentage of who we really are and how we really spend our time. Most of life is waking up, brushing our teeth, taking out the trash and spending time with our families and co-workers. So, if we are not able to appreciate those "ordinary moments," we will never be truly happy. Now, don't get me wrong - it's not that I don't also appreciate the finer things (I've been bugging my wife for years about getting that big flat screen tv). It's just that in the midst of my consumer greed, I realize that there are things much more important than that, and that ultimately those things are not going to fulfill me.
I encourage each one of us to continue digging beneath the surface of the everyday to find the things that really matter. Sometimes the hidden treasure is found in those things right before our eyes.
PS. I wanted to let you know that I will be participating in a very special event in the Phoenix area next Thursday, May 28th at 7pm at Congregation Beth Israel in Scottsdale. There will be a community choir concert featuring Cantors Jaime Shpall, Peter Halpern and myself as well as many extremely talented singers and instrumentalists from the community. The choir will be conducted by John Massaro of the Metropolitan Phoenix Opera Company and will include excerpts from the Bloch Sacred Service, pieces by Lewandowski, Andrea Jill Higgins, Peter Halpern and others. It promises to be an enjoyable evening for all.