Yesterday I was a Fool; Today I am Wiser

Today was April Fool’s Day. No one played a joke on me. I didn’t play a joke on anyone else. Well, maybe God played one on me…All I know for sure is that despite the name of the day, yesterday I was a fool, but today I am wiser.

You see, I did something foolish. I didn’t actually do it yesterday. It took a while…several months…for me to acrue the amount of foolishness that made me into a fool. These actions, however, came to a head yesterday. Although I didn’t mean to be foolish, thoughtless, hurtful, inappropriate, I was. It wasn’t my intention. In fact, my intentions were good.

I didn’t stay focused on my intentions, though, at least not well enough. I didn’t stand back and look at the big picture. I didn’t think through my actions, words, deeds. I didn’t foresee their ramifications. And that made me a fool…of sorts.

But, having said that, it also put me in a dark and narrow place — a personal Mitzraim (the Hebrew word for Egypt). Passover is right around the corner, and we often talk about how our lives are like Mitzraim, which means a tight or narrow place. It’s a place that could squeeze you, almost like coming through the birth canal when you are born. I had to look at myself, my deeds…I felt horrible. I felt sorry. I confessed. I apologized. I still felt horrible.

But I came out beter for it. I know better now. I will do better now. I can’t repair all the damage done, but I can hope it will repair itself. I can hope the apologies will be accepted and that time will cause all to forget and have a new sense about things — like the Israelites after many years in the desert (although I hope it won’t take 40 years!). My work will be better for this. I have learned.

And I will remember that I always strive to do good…even if I don’t succeed. And I will forgive myself. We all make mistakes. We can only correct them and move on.

The Kabbalists, or Jewish mystics, used to say that just as the grape when squeezed produces wine and the olive when pounded produces oil, humans when challenged come forth with wisdom. I know that I have been squeezed, pounded, challenged. I’ve been in a tight place — my Mitzraim. But I have come out the other side, reborn…

Things won’t be the same. They never are. Change is good. Everything happens for a reason.

April Fool’s Day? I don’t know. I think maybe God played a trick, or better named a game, with me the day before, so today I wouldn’t be a fool.  My eyes would be open. I would see the reality of the situation. I would know the truth. And I would move forward with wisdom and knowledge.

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