Everyone must have two pockets, with a note in each pocket, so that he or she can reach into the one or the other, depending on the need. When feeling lowly and depressed, discouraged or disconsolate, one should reach into the right pocket, and, there, find the words: “For my sake was the world created.”

“But when feeling high and mighty one should reach into the left pocket, and find the words: “I am but dust and ashes.”

-Rabbi Bunim

Unfortunately, I don’t actually believe the world was created for my sake. Nor do I believe that I am but dust and ashes. (I get the metaphoric meanings, but eh.) So those phrases wouldn’t work for me.

However, I do have a tattoo on my side that reads, “peccavi.” It’s Latin for “I have sinned,” which is my way of reminding myself that I am but dust and ashes. I have a tendency to forget that my entertaining adventures and enjoyments often come at the cost of diminished morality. And my biggest sin is, without a doubt, pride, and I felt, at the wise age of 20, that pride was something that needed to be tempered somehow. So, I got myself a permanent reminder that I am not perfect.

I have always wanted to get “God is love” in Greek on the other side. To balance it out. Because I sometimes feel as if I vacillate only between extreme happiness and extreme sadness. And in my moments of sadness, I need to be reminded that love is all around us, and other such sentimental crap. I also need to be reminded that I have to be that love that I wish to see in the world. Which is the essence of the phrase in Greek, with love translated as “αγάπη.”

Interestingly, I’m not actually a religious person. But I definitely enjoy learning about religions and I must say, they have some very valuable messages hidden up in there. And if their messages work for me, so be it.

Now, please excuse me while I go stare at the tattoo I have managed to procure. Because that’s the one I need right now. *bows and exits*

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