A book that I was extremely fortunate to discover was Escaping the Whale: The Holocaust is over. But is it Ever Over for the Next Generation, by Ruth Rotkowitz. This is a powerful, brilliant book that makes numerous impactful statements. But one that remains with me and the protagonist is the need to find one’s center.
The first question to be asked (logically) was what the need was to find her center. What is my center? Is it truth? Is it my faith? Is it what defines me? Is it a unifying force, something potentially unique to me?
Determining the importance of finding a center is illustrated best in nature. Our bodies are centered around our spinal columns. Circulation emanates from our hearts and the brain sends out signals from the center of us that is the brain. Tree branches and leaves are as if spokes of the wheel that is the tree trunk.
As I thought more about the center, I realized that the best synonym I could identify for center is essence. While I see myself as a wife, mother, grandmother, author, writer, and friend, my essence is that of an educator. For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to educate, regardless of the context in which I did so. The origins of educate are the concepts of leadership and nurturance, both of which are inherent to educating.
Defining that helps clarify whatever I do, including those activities that do not immediately include others. It’s easy to find examples of educating others. I do that as a parent and grandparent, occasionally as wife, and always as educator.
But with each book, each blog and each writing project I complete, I am improving others in some way as I am also growing. If I complete research, I acquire new information. When I examine a subject as I do here, the journey toward my conclusions is marked with discovery, analysis, data collection, and development of conclusions.
In my case, I feel confident that I have been true to myself and my center. As I influence others, I hope that they can also identify their centers and organize their lives accordingly. In some cases, this will easily be accomplished; other situations may present greater challenges.
We’ve all known those who have spent their lives working in a factory, delivering mail, or doing something else, without knowing why. If you can determine what makes you content or happy or elated, there is no need to feel that something is incomplete. Find out what is your center and let nothing stand in your way of being, doing, or living exactly what that is. Shalom.