More Gulf, Less Golf

How to fight complacency in our lives?

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Comments (14)

(14) Linda Kopans, July 24, 2010 11:51 AM

Slurring Obama

Obama was anything but complacent. He went to the gulf quickly and repeated visits followed. In addition he spoke to the nation via town meetings and fireside chats. That's not being complacent and doing nothing. Where do you live that you didn't know this?

(13) Tabitha, July 1, 2010 1:07 AM

what do we do about complacency

Putting our head in the sand will enable us later to put it on a prayer run five time a day! So, I stopped being complacent, particularly when it comes to the world against Israel. I do some letter-writing on my own to newspapers, or contact and write for CAMERA or HonestReporting (check out their websites). I don't let anyone get away with propagandist remarks about Jews and Israel because this feeds into Islam's sharia law and of global jihad. Islam counts on ignorance and complacency to build a megamosque on Ground Zero, or to demonize Israel when it's protecting its borders and its citizens, or to delegitimize Israel in order to allow Palestinians to take over the land completely. There's a lot happening in our world that we MUST awaken to, to save democracy from Islam...and to save our progeny - all who come after us. Rabbi Salomon: you're in a position to mobilize us. If the imams can do it from their pulpits, our rabbis should be able to do it too! Remember: tolerance of intolerance is not tolerance, but civilizational suicide.

(12) Bruce, June 30, 2010 8:38 AM

Its Not Complacancy

Bp and the president,yeah it looks debatable,its not complacancy, its giving the thought process room to function like if you drop something you look so hard to find it and cant,or try to hard, it always take a moment to stand back realize or rationalize in order to draw from everything you have done in your life for a solution.Its like meitation or prayer a moment silent thoughtfilledness to realign the ID,Ego,SuperEgo for cognitive action of solvancy of the dilemma.BP was wrong for not doing things sooner,we were wrong for not doing things sooner but perhaps they had a plan behind them such asthe economic recovery of New Orleans since Katrinas disaster,big corp. work in mystery ways or even environmental awareness of cause and affect and of course now BP has two wells there,ironic only they know the truths,but,BP admitted it was the cheapest design for an oil rig.The mid-east,they say they're all gods children then they should act like it.

(11) Kerrie, June 30, 2010 3:25 AM

Make it personal

From my experience, you tend to be complacent when it doesn't really matter to you. Actions only happen when you're prepared to make it a personal problem. Global issues and situations on the other side of the world are easily ignored until the time that you realise how this will personally impact on you, those things that you care about, and your guiding principles. If any of these things are compromised or threatened, then you will have action. Living in Australia, away from most of the problems, I know how it's easy to push it aside, to think that I can't make a difference, or that it's not that urgent. As some of the others have written, action or response can take many forms, but the point is to allow yourself to be effected by what you see and then challenge yourself to do something about it.

(10) Paul, June 29, 2010 11:18 PM

On Line Advocacy

Dear Rabbi, Excellent video. I think that on line advocacy can be of tremendous help. Human rights to environmental concerns can all be influenced by a group of people that are connected via the internet.

(9) Gloria Scott, June 29, 2010 4:21 PM

It is one thing for me to look at my husband and think.." Don't you care about what is going on?" when he is out doing his normal things...but it is another thing concerning the President and BP. Shouldn't we to hold them up to a higher standard? So when we, the public, read or see a news story about how they are spending their time, it does make one wonder about just how much they do care and how serious they are taking this.

(8) Tzipporah, June 29, 2010 2:40 PM

Eager for opportunity to act

I have thought about this a lot in the past few months. I want to be a person who is proactive, that speaks out against what is wrong and does something, not just sitting back quietly, complacently. The question is what is one to do? One feels so small and powerless... there are stories of small people making a huge difference for the good. I think part of the answer is a mental answer... we have to be eager and courageous to act to further the good that we see in the world. That potential is inside all of us, and we just need to find the way to wake it up.

(7) ruth housman, June 29, 2010 1:23 PM

denial is a "nail"

How do we nail this down? Yes, you are so right, and sometimes we feel we are existing in a sea of neverending problems, just look any day in the newspaper, and some of these things are utterly abhorrent, and others, maybe we feel we could have some input, or feel the impulse to do something, to sign a petition, to write, or just do something in our own small lives that is positive, for another. I think it's so hard to judge sometimes how to respond, and we feel so often, who is listening? How can I personally make a difference? I know that not doing anything feels wrong for me personally, a kind of impotence, a helplessness in the face of feeling this is so WRONG. As in the Gulf Disaster. And I do see a widening "gulf" between those who care about the environment and those who do not take the time to think, to analyze deeply the pain, the suffering, to the earth, the inhabitants of the ocean, and those who make their living from the seas. I do what I can do. I write letters on behalf of environmental initiatives. I bypass the boiler plate and I write something from the heart, something personal, something that uses my language skills and engages heart and soul. And so often I feel, why do this? Who is listening? Who reads any of this? But I believe in the ringing words of a great Justice whose name was Brandeis and he said, we must live as if we each make a difference, and he believed, deeply, in "the power of one". And so must we all. Golf? A "whole in one"?

(6) Keith, Woking. UK, June 29, 2010 1:23 PM


1. Pray... 2. Listen to HaShem & wherever possible take appropriate right action. Sometimes "no action" is the right action... 3. If you are lead to do so, do not be afraid to speak out... Shalom... Keith.

(5) CB, June 28, 2010 10:22 PM

Jewish Tradition

I think the complacency angle is interesting, but not one I would have connected with the complaints. My understanding of Jewish tradition is that even if one can do nothing to prevent/mitigate an ongoing situation it is still incumbent on that individual to act in a manner that shows the situation bothers him/her. For example, there are numerous stories of Rabbanim who did not sleep on a pillow/bed during recent wars since they were showing a concrete way of expressing their pain at the situation. During the recent bombardment of Israel I know many regular folk who gave up fancy desserts or something else in a meal to show their life too was impacted - not in the same way as those going through it, but at least not to be completely enjoying themselves as though nothing was wrong. Golf is viewed as a sport of leisure, not as a form of "working-out" - and I think the complaints reflect that.

(4) Debora, June 28, 2010 9:52 AM

At least something we can do..

If we can't be there on site, we can certainly join media war... as seen during 'flotilla crisis'... we can present facts on various forums, signing petitions, uploading videos, share info... never let enemy mute us by their shouts of hatred.

(3) Rosen, June 27, 2010 3:56 PM

choosing to be more proactive and less coveting

As we hear on the news regarding the BP oil spill, the Flotilla incident, etc., it all depends on how we proactively respond to it...Now, would complacency be a form of coveting, even though the 10th commendment says "Thou shalt not covet"? It is easy to feel embittered and covet when the president and CEO's have leisure time during a crisis. However, change and progress almost always happen with one's self, and every little bit counts such as sending tzedekah to charities we believe will help with whatever situation we are concerned about, either regarding the environment, feeding the poor, recognizing Israel's right to exist, etc.

(2) Alan S., June 27, 2010 1:18 PM

Is it only an issue of time?

In an ideal world, everyone would tackle all problems quickly, and work at the issue or problem till it was resolved. In the real world, it is not necessarily an issue of complaceny if we tackle a problem, but also turn our attention to other things, whether those things are other major (or minor) issues, or leisure activities. Should an issue or problem "rule" us 24X7? In general, most people do their best thinking or analyzing away from an issue or problem, dealing or focusing on other activities. Is it really an issue of being complacent if temporarily, we accept the status quo while working on ways to resolve an issue? It is only an issue of complacency if we accept issues or problems by putting our heads in the sand and neglecting the problems or hoping they will go away by themselves.

(1) Anonymous, June 27, 2010 10:29 AM

NSU LAW 2002-2005

I keep putting off something I feel I have the responsibility to do--helping out a case in which first year law students put hidden cameras in a girl's bedroom, bathroom, and car. I feel like if I ignore it, the mess that was made of it will go away. So far, it hasn't. I don't think anyone will help her but me, but I can't seem to bring myself to do anything, and I keep just going on with life like it will all just be okay on its own.


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