What’s up everyone! It’s been a moment, hasn’t it? New year, new president, new vaccines, new bingeable shows, new orders being delivered to our houses. Time didn’t stand still, but neither did we. I’m not here to talk about any of those things above though, because…why? We lived it, we don’t need a blog post to explain it all; No blogsplaining necessary.
What I really wanted to talk about is the concept of, “being a light” and what that means, and how we can take a concept that feels so lofty and bring it to a level that’s attainable for those of us who are just humans trying to make it from day to day.
The whole idea of this stemmed when I heard the song How they Remember You by Rascal Flatts. If you haven’t heard it, I suggest listening to it. It’s one to of those songs that you hear, and suddenly there’s a montage of your life rolling through your mind. Does that happen to anyone else? Just me? Well, regardless, this song makes you think. So, inevitably it got me thinking– one day, when I’m no longer here, how will I be remembered? Not only that, but how do I want to be remembered? What have I done in my life to make an everlasting impression on others, and has it been a good one? Let me tell ya’ it was one heck of a rabbit hole to fall down, but an important one. With that in mind, the phrase, “be a light unto the nations” kept popping into my thoughts.
The actual text is from the book of Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 49:6, “…but I will make you a light of nations, so that My salvation shall be until the end of the earth.” The context of what’s being said here is that the Jewish nation had too much “light” to be servants and that those who serve G-d would be a light unto the nations, until we have the final redemption. Yes, I did a lot of back checking on this quote to figure out the root of it. And leave it to me to take the root of the root and try to delve deeper.
Being the inquisitive person I am, I decided to take it to the masses and ask the general public what they though; and by that I mean, I put a question box on Instagram and I had some people indulge me and answer it. It should be noted that for such a deep question, the question box doesn’t allow for enough space to answer it fully, so I’ve got to apologize for that.
Here is what people had to say about what it means to be a light…
“Little things, like giving someone space to speak when they have something to say.”
“Bringing light into someone’s life when they need it.”
“Brightening the life of others.”
“Keeping other’s flames alive. Shining into their darkness. Bringing a lil warmth.”
“Be a positive example, good in all the bad.”
“Loving others. choosing to see the good and be the the good.”
Pretty thought provoking and incredible, are they not? Notice the theme– it seems as if the root of light is selflessness, or chesed (giving/kindness). So, being a light has a lot to do with how you treat people. Like I said before, when I mentioned the song How they Remember You, it comes right back to the impression you leave upon people and the impact you make on their lives.
When you think of a physical light bulb, the light radiates starting from the inside and spreads outwards to illuminate the space it’s in. If we use that same concept as people, our light/goodness/kindness/ etc. starts on the inside; we have to be good people first, and then we can spread our light towards others, with the hope being that their light becomes illuminated as well. There’s a concept in chassidus (kabalistic teachings) that says that everything has a spark of G-dliness, and it’s our job to elevate/illuminate that spark.
This is sort of overwhelming. I’m the one writing the blog, and even I’m intimidated by some of what I’ve said. But it comes down to the biggest thing; changing the world starts from within. You need to know and see your light before you can shine it onto the rest of the world. The moment you grasp your light–the spark you bring to the world, that’s the moment you become “a light” and have the special ability to change any room you enter.
Let your light shine as bright as possible, y’all!