My article in Newsmax: “What a Hanukkah for Humanity (Not Just Jews) Looks Like”
While the Hanukkah party at the White House caused ripples with Trump’s new executive order, and Jews around the world prepare for one of their major holidays, let’s take a look at what a Hanukkah for humanity, not just Jews, would look like.
Hanukkah is a pit stop on life’s race track, coming from the words “Hanu” (“park”) and “Koh” (“here”).
The more we advance in our lives, the more we encounter such stops. They let us discern what we’ve done, and whether we should change our direction in order to progress more optimally.
At one point or another, we find ourselves in situations that make us stop and rethink our lives’ entire course. Also, sometimes we need to forcefully stop ourselves, even if we want to continue, recalculate where we’re headed, and whether we should impact a change for a better future.
Therefore, we should see in the words, “Hanu” and “Koh” (“park here”), a desire brewing in humanity to cry out and stop the current way we’re running our lives, and change to a more fruitful direction.
Our current individualistic, consumerist and materialistic lifestyles are leading us into greater debt. Our debt is not only monetary, it’s our lag behind our balance with nature’s increased demands on us: to connect our attitudes to each other in order to match nature’s connectedness.
It is impossible to pay back the massive debt we have accumulated, but one way or another, we’ll have to pay it. In the meantime, we continue extracting from nature as much as we possibly can.
Essentially, society today needs to stop for a moment and think of how it can achieve more balance with itself and nature. Hanukkah is much more than a holiday marked on a few calendars. It is what humanity as a whole needs to undergo.
However, we can make no such stop until we recognize the cause of our individualistic, consumerist and materialistic lifestyles, gaining awareness of how the consumerist cycle — manufacturing products we don’t need, advertising them so that we want them, buying, selling and disposing of them — ultimately does no good to ourselves or to our planet.
We are overdue in making this pit stop.
If we continue business as usual, then we can simply count the days it will take till nature will activate a major blow upon us: pressures and disasters that would make life unbearable.
However, what is the alternative?
If we stop our current consumerist race, what would be able to replace it?
And how would we know its replacement would be better?
The alternative to rampant consumerism is positive connection.In order to understand this alternative, we need to first understand the importance of social influence.
Society determines our values according to what it promotes to us as enjoyable, worthwhile and important. The fact that we compare ourselves to others, then since we are incessantly promoted consumer goods, seeing celebrities, influencers, friends and acquaintances enjoying and discussing them, we thus also want them.
Therefore, we need to determine what is most advantageous for us all to enjoy, so that we won’t live our lives in a way where we empty our pockets to fill richer pockets, whenever we make a transaction to buy something else we don’t need.
For instance, instead of Black Friday, we could advertise a “Global Picnic Day,” a day where families and friends meet up in a park, at the beach, in nature, or go to the cinema or a trip somewhere — to promote a fun day together with family and friends.
It all depends on what we decide to promote to ourselves.
If we saw people around the world posting about themselves on Global Picnic Day, on the news and social media, celebrating it in different ways, we would find ourselves also wanting to participate. We would also find that such a day would give people much more enjoyment than a global day of buying and selling.
So why don’t we do that?
Instead of wasting our money buying a whole bunch of things that we’ll mostly discard, we would instead focus on enjoying ourselves in positive connection with other people.
Therefore, if we parked ourselves on the side of our life’s race track for a moment, we could pop the consumerist-materialistic bubble that we have blown up around ourselves, and start to advertise a new approach to life that we could ultimately enjoy a lot more from: one where we focus on positively connecting to each other, and which would bring us to greater balance in our relationships and with nature in general.