Netzach: Success. Hod: Humility. Netzach she’b’hod: Successful humility.
Or, in other words, a good public persona.
Sometimes, I do think about my persona. I’m a local person, but I’m also a public person. I’m a parent. And I write, speak, teach, organize, lead things, help a bit with pastoral care. So, I know a lot of people.
To some of them, I’m a role model. And I’m okay with that. But I’m also just me.
So, what kind of public persona should I aim for?
I’m kind of torn, actually.
On the one hand, I’m reserved. I’d like to appear dignified and graceful. Speak briefly and to the point. Just the right words at the right time. If I make a mistake, I’ll fix it. But I don’t need to explain why I do or don’t do every little thing.
On the other hand, I’m friendly and funny. Cynical, sardonic, realistic. And, when I’m not holding back, compassionate. So, sometimes I want people to know that I get it. I’ve felt pain, too. Known depression, grief, failure, anger. So, it’s important for me to talk about those things. Teach and write about them.
But how can I do both? Be reserved and open at the same time?
Here’s one thing I’ve tried.
While I’m working out my distress, I keep quiet. Because I don’t want to look confused. And I certainly don’t want to burden anyone with my confusion!
But once I’ve settled something inside myself, then I feel free to talk about it. In a way that I think could be helpful to others, of course.
Still, I wonder. Am I honest about the reasons I hold my worries close? Or is there more? Do I try, sometimes, to protect people who hurt me? Or protect myself from their wrath if I embarrass them? When are those the right goals—and when not?
Today is day 32 of the Omer, i.e., four weeks and four days.
New to the Omer count? Here’s a primer.
P.S. The photo above shows Koi-cat. He is very sick right now. Please pray for him. Thank you.