Principles of the LAW (Life after Wendy)
I gave a talk at Temple Beth El honoring Wendy Wayne, and instead of remembering her accomplishments, I looked forward – how could we approach life after Wendy. What I call Principles of the LAW, standing for Life after Wendy – are all qualities or attributes that Wendy lived by or had articulated throughout her life.
Giving is receiving: A life of service, of giving to others, returns far more to us in enriching our lives than we ever give. There will always be naysayers, those who hold back, who don’t share. But it doesn’t have to be us. Wendy’s life, of course, was one of service.
Be Not a Stranger in a Strange Land: Wendy wished for her grandchildren to never meet a stranger. That should apply to us all. We can welcome people into our homes as well as visit elsewhere, bringing warmth and acceptance of other cultures.
Nurturing Heritage: Wendy stressed nurturing our own heritage while respecting that of other nations and cultures.
Judge Not: Continue to make the world a better place. There is always someone willing to pass judgment on others just because they are different. Sometimes our own house needs to be put in order.
Open Doors of Opportunity: Wendy worked to ensure that doors of opportunity opened for
others. Don’t shut others out. People flee from oppression. Open your doors. In the words of the famed Rabbi Hillel, “If I am only for myself, who am I?”
Listen: No one ever learned anything by talking. Be a good listener and learn from others. Everyone has something to offer.
Do Random Acts of Kindness: Wendy said to extend yourself to all you meet and share acts of kindness. There is always someone who will try to dissuade you from good deeds and kindnesses. This is a good time not to listen.
Possibilities, Not Obstacles: We know that Wendy lived in the realm of the possible. She said to erase the word “no” from your vocabulary because you see only possibilities and never obstacles. No situation is impossible.