Jewels of Elul VI - The Art of Beginning...Again

Elul 1
But Why Not?
Jeremy Ben Ami

The world is a little too full of “can’t” -- and there’s not enough “why not?” What’s more frustrating than to be told a problem isn’t solvable or a goal unattainable? 
My law school professors rewarded me for spotting issues and problems – but why not for coming up with solutions?
A good friend of mine pitched dozens of companies fifteen years ago with the design of a slim machine on which you could read books without paper.  They laughed.
Trying and failing is no excuse for not trying again.  Coming up with reasons not to take chances, passing the buck, pinning the blame on someone else, saying you can’t – that's all easy. We tell our children to get back in the saddle when they fall off a bike, to get back in the batter’s box when they swing and miss.  Why accept anything less as adults – in matters as important as life and death, war and peace?
Sure, we’ve all heard why Middle East peace can’t happen.  How there are no partners.  How everything was tried ten years ago and it failed.  We’ve been told that those of us who believe are few and far between, and that our limited power can’t have an impact.
But why not?
Beginning anew means refusing to accept things as they are.  It means believing that, with effort, the power of good can and will overcome the daunting power of the status quo. 
New beginnings demand that we dream a better future and relentlessly ask “why not?”

Jeremy Ben-Ami is the President and founder of J Street.

Today's Jewels of Elul Blogger is Phyliss Sommers. Click here to read her thoughts on The Art of Beginning Again.

If you had to count the number of times you “got back in the saddle again” this year after a fall, how many times would it be? Is it harder or easier the more times you do it?

Conceived and Produced by Craig Taubman and

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The Los Angeles Jewish Journal JTA, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

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