On the occasion of my 53rd birthday, I want to begin to describe my feelings about the state of the world and my role in it.
Two scenes from a broken world:
- A new Drupal user is having a hard time figuring out how he can change the "Read more" label.
- The Palestinian West Bank village of Awata is being subjected to collective punishment by the Israel Defense Forces in the wake of the horrendous murder of the Fogel family. Awata is just next to the settlement of Ithamar, where the Fogel killing happened.
These scenes are so, so different. There is a Hebrew expression, "l'havdil" which means "to distinguish one from another" or "to separate." It is often said when two things are compared to one another as similar, and yet are so very different. So while I say "le'havdil" to distinguish these two small examples of our broken world, I want to use them to try to sort out my own struggle to figure out how I want to make a difference in this world.
The first example, encountered on the Drupal support email list has at least two straightforward solutions. The brokenness is in the user's failing to find the right documentation. It's also possible the documentation doesn't even exist. Thankfully, other subscribers to the list know how to solve the problem and are available and willing to help. Including me. And, in fact, I wrote a quite coherent solution to the problem which I posted.
The solution to the second example is not so straightforward. Manipulating code is a lot easier than holding the IDF accountable or finding the murderers of the Fogel family.
I note the quick and decisive way in which I jump in to help the Drupal user. Conversely, I'm hesitant, often totally quiet when confronted with the Israel/Palestine conflict.
As my birthday fades, and I enter day one of my fifty-fourth year, I hope to draw strength from the kinds of satisfaction I've enjoyed in solving problems in the Drupal community and apply it to some of my other commitments, even when they are more challenging.