Standing up for one’s beliefs
PANAMA. There are no greater rights than the freedom of speech and religion. These are basic human privileges recognized by many natio...
PANAMA. There are no greater rights than the freedom of speech and religion. These are basic human privileges recognized by many nations and people throughout the world.
As a lover of freedom and independence, I also equate these two priceless civil rights to a favorite pastime? rooting for the underdog. What’s the common thread you ask? Well, it’s got all to do with standing up for one’s beliefs.
At sundown on December 22nd over 10,000 Jews living in Panama will celebrate one of the greatest underdog defeats in the history of world religion, a classic ‘David versus Goliath’ battle, where a small band of faithful Jews, known as the Maccabees, rose up and defeated the mighty Seleucid Empire invaders in 165 B.C., reclaimed the sacred Temple, and rededicated it to God.
This important Jewish holiday is known as Hanukkah, or the Festival of Lights; an 8-day event that not only celebrates their religious freedom over the Syrians, but also the ‘Miracle of the Oil’? an occurrence where a one-day supply of olive oil kept the Eternal Light within the temple shining for eight days.
Standing up for one’s beliefs is a very noble and courageous virtue, but is it practiced as much today as in the past? The answer is yes, however it may not be as obvious as winning a battle, or witnessing a miracle.
There are plenty of signs in both the commercial world and private lives if one takes the time to look around.
It’s those individuals who do not bend under pressure, who have the guts and determination to stand their ground and fight for what they believe is right. I admire that kind of willpower, resolve and strength of mind.
It’s why I always root for the underdog in sports, the small business owner facing difficult market challenges or the little kid who is constantly intimidated by the school bully.
To me, Hanukkah not only marks the triumph of faith and courage over military might, but it’s also a reminder that standing up for one’s beliefs will be rewarded. I believe the modern day interpretation of this ancient holiday is all about hope, desire and the determination to follow one’s dreams no matter what the obstacles? knowing that nothing is unattainable.
Whether you are Jewish or not, there is much to learn from the celebration of Hanukkah that can be applied to everyone’s life. Envision the jug that refilled itself every day with enough oil to relight the Temple's great menorah for 8 days as eight steps you need to take in you own life? important steps that may lead to solving problems or shedding light on unanswered questions.
So, whip up a batch of Latkes , enjoy a Sufgeniot or better yet, practice Tikun Olam... an opportunity to talk about what’s important to you and what it means to stand up for your beliefs.