How to be a Mensch?

This question entered my mind following last weeks fabulous Amsterdam concerts by ‘I’m Your Man’ Leonard Cohen. Just as in 2008 and 2009 I’m totally in awe of LC…
His concerts are a magical event because of the whole ‘package’ i.e. the music, the lyrics, the humour and above all The Reverence!

The headline of this Dutch review underscores my experience. It reads: ‘Leonard Cohen teaches Amsterdam Lesson in Humility’. It is a lesson we sure can take to heart… Last year there was much ado here in Amsterdam about the experienced rise in bad manners and rudeness on the streets. The Amsterdam politician Andrée van Es called for more politeness or courtesy [hoffelijkheid], which was covered widely in the Dutch media.  

A call that spoke directly to my heart since it’s one of the reasons I started ‘Zivaya’, after seeing and experiencing that unawareness can lead to [young] people’s feelings of entitlement. 

Leonard Cohen’s Come Healing was the highlight of the concert for me:
‘Come Healing of the Reason
Come Healing of the Heart

The Heart below is teaching
to the broken Heart above’

As above, so below. We’ve got our educational work cut out for us. The summer of 2012 turned out to be a time of relative stillness and introspection for me, having finished a weekly contract for Zivaya Playshops last school year. Just today I noticed four great responses to this website, sent in the last fortnight, confirming again that I’m on the right track. 

I continue to listen to the challenge. Three weeks from now I’m beginning a new chapter in my life, in alignment with what I started two years ago by founding Zivaya. I’m going back to studying in order to become an accredited professional teacher of ‘humanist ethical and worldview education’. I can hardly wait!

LC reminded us again: ‘We are so privileged to be able to gather in a city like this when so much of the world is plunged in misery and suffering…

So ring the bells that still can ring,
forget your perfect offering.

There’s a crack in everything,
that’s how the Light gets in.’

And he is right about this as well: ‘I’m Your Man’
A Mensch in my view.

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