(Please Note: this original post was written 3 days after the attacks. Now, 5 days later, we are facing a looming crisis of epic and unknown proportions in this tragic situation…)

First, A Disclaimer

This October NewsNotes was already planned, when two events occurred a few days ago, one on the world stage and one on a local theatre stage, which changed everything.

1. The world witnessed the sickening atrocities of terrorists killing and taking civilians hostage in a manner that the spokesman for the European Commission described as “appalling…against any law and any norm of civilized behavior.” An Israeli commander on the scene described: “a massacre. It’s something…more like a pogrom from our grandparents’ time.”

2. I witnessed a mesmerizing production of Prayer For The French Republic at the Huntington Theater in Boston. The sweeping storyline follows an elderly Jewish couple in 1944 Paris facing the impact of the Holocaust, and their great-grandchildren facing the very same questions in Paris today: “Are we safe? Why do they hate us?”

So I Must Begin With This
I am a Jew. My life choices have often been informed by other cultures and ethnicities, which I’ve loved and embraced. Yet first and foremost, from my childhood growing up in a French-Canadian, predominantly Catholic city, to my adult life today, I Am A Jew.

Many Israelis and Palestinians
are committed to searching for a lasting peace. A few years ago, I was honored to coach two young people, Palestinian and Israeli, visiting the US to present the work of the Arava Institute. It’s situated in the Israeli desert, where “nature knows no political borders.” Students from countries such as Jordan, Palestine and Israel learn about environmental challenges and each other. Just one example of a new generation trying to collaborate in new ways to find new solutions to age-old problems.

Today’s Video (0:22)   The Hay Path!

My Original Inspiration
for this October writing was hay. As in harvests, hayrides and other Autumnal shenanigans. A delightful sign caught my eye while visiting Billings Farm in northern Vermont. In a field of not-yet-bloomed sunflowers, aka The Sunflower House, visitors were cautioned to Stay On The Hay.

I Love A Catchy Phrase
and this one basically meant keep your focus on the path in front of you. Stay the course. Put one foot in front of the other. Make a commitment and stick to it. Hang in there and keep going. When life gets tough, and we’re pushed off course, Stay On The Hay.

In Every Presentation
your throughline is the line that connects the beginning-to-the-end; the-opening-to-the-close. The clearer that throughline is to you, the easier it is to stay on topic and the easier it is for your audience to keep listening. It may not be covered in hay, but it keeps your words connected to your goal.

In the face of evil, may we recommit to who we are, staying true to our best selves and to our personal throughlines. May we all, in whatever small way we can, work towards peace.

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