Two weeks. That was all that was left of my term as chair of the board of directors of the MJCCA. I cherished each moment of my term and I was looking forward to celebrating the agency’s successes at our annual meeting with our community.
Then COVID-19 hit us in the face like a Mike Tyson uppercut. With a blink of an eye, we went from the best of times to the unimaginable.
No doubt the pandemic has been a harsh reminder that, despite our best made plans, we do not control the world. It’s hard to accept this reality. After all, we make plans in all aspects of our lives: strategic plans, b’nai mitzvah plans, summer camp plans, vacation plans, college plans, and so on. We have grown accustomed to expecting our plans to play out with certainty.
An important lesson that I learned this year that I will take into 5781 is that while we cannot control external forces, we can control how we respond to them. We have the choice to seek happiness, even in the midst of a pandemic. I used the past several months as an opportunity to press the reset button, slow down and focus on working on what brings true happiness: healthy relationships with others and living a life of meaning and purpose. As I enter 5781, I will continue to work on positive thinking and strengthening my relationship with my family, friends, business colleagues and community.
Wishing you all a year of peace, health, happiness and humor.
Kenneth Winkler is immediate past chair of the board of directors of the Marcus JCC.