“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
I often think of Zusya, an early Hassidic rabbi. When Reb Zusya didn't have long on this earth, his students found him crying.

"Why are you crying?" they asked. "Are you crying because you're afraid that when you die and go to heaven, God will say, 'Why were you not more like Moses?'"

Reb Zusya replied, "No. I am crying because I'm afraid that when I get to heaven, God will say, 'Why were you not more like Zusya?'"

Every day I aspire to nurture what is best in me – and the ways I best contribute to the world – while working to mitigate my many flaws. I am often confused and overwhelmed with myriad choices, options that would have been unthinkable to my grandparents. I aim to transcend the temptation to dwell on the hole instead of the donut, and instead to dance amid the shower of blessings that constitutes my life.

This deep gratitude will be my cornerstone if I am to be the best version of myself. I want to act with passion rather than simply passing through, heeding the powerful draw of the herd. I aim to mirror my wife's fierce love, to delight in the delicate kiss of my daughter, to relish my Dad's encompassing embrace, to cherish my Mom's unwavering devotion, and to learn how to be my brother's keeper. I hope to freestyle rap under the stars with my children, to make snow angels, to chase squirrels with my dog, to be truly present for my friends when they are in need, and to be a strong contributor at work, at home, and within the different communities I inhabit.

In the words of another great rabbi, I hope to live a life that, at its end, would "deserve and evoke an eternal amen."

— Rob Ryman