Ode to Tikun Olam

Tikun Olam 

Those of you who know me,
know that I have devoted my life
to helping those that help others

The Talmud states,
Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief.
Do justly now, love mercy now, walk humbly now.
You are not obligated to complete the work,
but neither are you free to abandon it.

As a child I grew up
in the shadow of a burning cross
In a town along the Hudson
Where the factories had gone dark

The bullies in the playgrounds
Told me that Jews were
just Negroes turned inside out

The nice kids
dressed in white shirts and dress pants
on their way to church
told me Jews had killed Jesus

I learned a few lessons along the way
had a few bloody noses and shared a few

My father a man for all seasons
told me that one’s character
was measured by the extent
that one’s actions and principles aligned.

My father died
a few months before I turned fourteen
A few months before he turned forty four

Imagine the mushroom cloud of an A-bomb
Arising from our chimney
The fallout lasting for decades
We moved away

I spent the sixties variously
As James Dean, Dylan,
Siddhartha and the Mad Hatter

Somewhere In the middle of the seventies
I surfacedmy vision cleared
I met the one
We settled down
And I got to work

Son of a social worker and a science teacher,
A mix of pop’s logic
and my mom’s empathy and insight
The blend served me well
Supporting those that help others

My work although behind the scenes
has always been in support of a mission

In my lifetime the missions have;
attacked racism through shared experiences
Found safe homes for kids in foster care
Bathed, fed, dressed and cared for
those children who through disease or a twist of fate were incapable of caring for themselves

I have worked with amazing people, leaders in their fields
Who helped families under siege from Crack and HIV
find medical and mental health services, find housing and support.

I am most proud of the work I have done to bring disparate members of a federation together to leverage their resources and to serve the healthcare needs of woman, children and families through emerging technologies.

I was fortunate to find myself in the world of conservation, brought back lost memories of my father leading us down trails under canopies of trees, past waterfalls, sometimes on hands and knees up bouldersfinally to summit the crest of the mountainto find the hawks and eagles elegantly gliding below us.

When I look back over the last three score and 10 years I am very grateful that I have had the opportunities I’ve had. 
The opportunity to construct and realize a shared vision of new ways to; empower and care for those in need, enlighten, educate, inspire and engage those few with the means and desire to support the missions the missions that have helped so many.
This life has been in pursuit of righting the wrongs I have witnessed and by helping others to align their actions with their principles and by these efforts have contributed to work to repair the world. 

Tikun Olam 

Published by Dan R.

Writer and Photographer, practices "almost yoga", and meditation. Curious and still learning.

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