What will be your favorite song this summer? The question may be easy to answer.
Last summer it might have been "Tonight, Tonight" by Hot Chelle Rae or "Moves Like Jagger" by Maroon 5. This summer, it might be "Call Me Maybe", the current #1 song on the Billboard 100, by the Canadian Carly Rae Jepson.
Here is a tougher question. What song describes you? What song do you live by?
Think for a moment about "Call Me Maybe".
Clearly, the song has a catchy melody, great beat and has gone viral this summer. We can picture it as the theme song of every beach party and backyard BBQ.
Yet, in life, sparks of awareness can be found almost anywhere... even in a pop song. The music of summer will be a memory but the awakening potentially gleaned from a reflective pause may last a lifetime.
"Call Me Maybe" may trigger a few questions. Are our relationships casual or are we committed to our family and friends? Do we leave people hanging or do we reach out to express our concern and love?
A rich life emerges not from what we accumulate but from what we accomplish and not from our finances but from friendships. A small gesture and investment in another human being may resonate for generations.
I will never forget the almost daily letters I received from my mother when I went to summer camp. I did not relish the experience of being away from home but her consistency in sending me brief notes with the day's events at home, as trivial as they might be, warmed my heart and implanted within me the power of even the simplest expression of thoughtfulness.
How many people do we hope to stay in touch with over the summer? Imagine the impact of an email or call to let someone know we are thinking of them. Deepening relationships must be deliberate and not dubious.
Sometimes, it may be best not to call back. In a world bombarded by emails and texting, there may be moments when we should not answer right away. To give our best selves, we may need the time to reflect, replenish and rejuvenate.
What will be our song this summer? Will people be able to call on us when they need or will they be waiting and wondering "maybe" they will hear from us?
What song embodies you?
Finding the answer and living it may change your life.
I recently conducted an unveiling for a congregant whose sheer joy for life inspires me to this day. When we uncovered the monument, the following words appeared: Dance, Hug and Smile. I was not surprised. I understood that these words not only encapsulated his legacy in death but more importantly in life. I remember fondly officiating at his 60th wedding anniversary celebration. Following his honor at the Torah in our synagogue as we sang the words of celebration, "Siman Tov and Mazal Tov", he raised his hands Rocky style and danced with a wide smile on his face as his wife gazed lovingly at him.
Dance, Hug, and Smile were his song and his secret to realizing his potential in life.
As the summer progresses and the music fades, spend some time thinking about your legacy and the beat and lyrics of your life. The words will crystallize your direction and serve as daily guide for your decisions.
This summer, find your voice and sing your song. Long after the music fades; the world will see "What Makes You Beautiful" and your life and legacy will lead in many new directions!
What song moves and motivates you?
Follow Rabbi Daniel Cohen on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@rdcspirit