This is my blog for topics of general, Jewish interest, named for the magazine I launched in 2005. I have additional blogs for other areas. Follow on Twitter or on Google+ under Ariella Brown. Please note that comment moderation is on, which could keep your comment from appearing right away.
With election around the corner, the usual question of "Are you better off now than four years ago?" appear. There are even data visualization activities that allow you to enter the information with which to answer that question, like here:
by CNNMoney. It occured to me that the key questions for being "better off" always center around material goods. As you can see, the first question is "Are you making more money?" That's understandable because it is focusing on the usual measure assigned to standard of living.
It occurred to me, however, that this is not the ultimate measure, and that we really could be "better off" now than in the past if we measure progress in another way. As we are now winding down from the first month of the new year, it is something to consider. When we measure where we are versus where we were, can we say that we are doing better? And I do mean doing.
Are we doing more mitzvos than we were in the past? Are we demonstrating a greater love for and commitment to Torah, Shabbos, Yomim Tovim, our fellow man, etc? Do we appreciate what we have that is not measured in dollars and cents: health, a good marriage, children, etc?
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