By Dovid Gross
When we think about 9/11 and remember last year's events we take stock of what it means to be alive and how easy it is for evil people to destroy the joy of life.
When we think about Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, we wonder what lies ahead for us and for the planet as a whole?
We can't know what's on "God's Agenda," but we can safely say God would like us all to be "Good-niks." To live in a way that enhances humanity and makes our planet a pleasant place to be. God wants us to be partners with Him in improving the human condition.
As He keeps this world going, we are supposed to fill this world with good thoughts, good words and good deeds. And if we increase worldly civility, our Sages say we are actually able to decrease forces of sadness, discord and evil.
And here is a great way to do it. Call it The One Percent Solution. Whatever you did before, now do it one percent better, and design ways to bestow Good upon other people.
Add one percent more dedication to the ones you love. Add one percent more love to your family and friends. Add one percent more happiness when you see a friend. Add one percent more enjoyment in God's world.
Add one percent more interest and effort at your job. Add one percent more interest in everything you do. Add one percent more excitement when you do something great. Add one percent more fascination at the world around you.
And this all costs you nothing -- except one percent. That's manageable. It's not as if you're taking on some huge project. Rather, whatever you do, add just a little bit more. And God sees your actions, understands your good motives (He can do that -- He is God) and counts it as a human success story. You're an instant Hero.
This is all based on a spiritual "mechanism" that God put in the world: Whenever a human does actions which position him as more of a "giver" than a "taker", during those moments he more closely resembles God who is the Ultimate Giver. And the more the earthy population practices goodness the more evil is pushed aside.
So, explore ways of giving to others around you: Find something nice to say to someone. Now do it with one percent more sincerity. You've just created a happy person.
Explore ways to make your world work more smoothly: Wash the coffee cups others leave behind -- and know you're making things just that much nicer for your co-workers. Tidy up. Put things away. And all the time have in mind you're doing it to be a "Good-nik." It's all the better to do it when no one is around -- that keeps you humble like you're supposed to be. But God sees, and he knows what you're up to.
The One Percent Solution makes your life more interesting -- now you can truly fortify humanity and help battle evil. The only thing required is that you remember to do it. That you remember you are actually able to make a difference one percent at a time. You're part of a grassroots revolution of sanity and values.
The One Percent Solution is how we can offset the evil Osamas and Saddams who want to destroy the civility and joy-of-life humankind has worked so hard to polish and perfect throughout history. There has been too much sweat and effort invested throughout the ages of civilization to be destroyed by selfish people and terrorists who want to bring it all to ruins.
And who will fight the evil people of the world? Today, our governments seem powerless -- crippled at the daunting task of finding one or two terrorists in a population of thousands. There is no one left to rebuild the world except us. Rebuild your life and make it a Super Life by reorienting yourself as a "giver." As you improve your area of the world you create a spiritual flow -- a wave in the spiritual pool. The solution to get rid of evil is a spiritual one and the spiritual wave begins with the little "splashes" each person makes in his own life.
This is one of the ways the Jewish nation is a light to all the other nations. When the Jews are on track, adding and improving their individual lives, it makes a collective wave and slowly but surely improves the lot of all humanity.
You're invited to dive deep into the spiritual pool and The One Percent Solution is how you can make big, big waves.
Presented in cooperation with Heritage House, Jerusalem.