Chiseled into the cement cornice at the entryway of Taylor Allderdice High School, my high school in Pittsburgh, is the school motto: “Know Something. Do Something. Be Something.” I’ll always remember that advice. I’ve wondered if it is a linear directive to take knowledge from high school and do something with it to define who we are? Or, are the three suggestions meant to be relational so each action affects the status of the others?
When I was younger, I probably considered life to be three steps: know, do and finally …. be …. who you’ve become …. Period. But now, as a “more mature” woman, I recognize life as a pingpong ball bouncing from learning to doing, to contented well-being. And in a second cycle, the ball jumping back again to a life of curious exploration, driven action, and a desire to redefine your position in this world.
This Jewish new year, I wish for all, regardless of stage in life, the blessing of a mentally and physically active life. May a vibrant flow of knowing-doing-and-being feed your soul and bring you and yours great peace and happiness.
Beth Gluck is executive director of the Jewish National Fund of Greater Atlanta.