Mensch is the Yiddish term for a person who is ethical, decent and admirable. It is the highest form of praise one can receive from people whose opinions matter.
Guy describes three foundations for menschhood:
- Helping lots of people, especially those who cannot help you (although I personally believe it's impossible to determine in advance who can and can't help you ... in fact, I actually believe that everyone has something of value to offer, even when it's not immediately obvious).
- Do what's right (not what's easy, expedient, money-saving or possible to get away with)
- Pay back society, for such gifts as
- family and friends
- spiritual fulfillment
- good health
- beautiful surroundings
- economic success
- a hat trick every once in a while
In writing this down, I was reminded of the book, "Instant Karma", by Barbara Ann Kipfer, that I picked up at Jamba Juice a while back. I also found a site that has a nice description of the Law of Karma, which involves the consequences of "skillful" vs. "unskillful" actions. [BTW, Peter Hupalo also has some interesting things to say on becoming a mensch.]
I originally started writing this down in my 43 Things post, and recognized that this is the kind of thing I would normally write about in this blog, which up until discovering 43 Things a few days ago, had been my primary repository for inspiration. I'm concerned about the growing fragmentation in my digital representation of self. I hate to scale back my posts here (which is why I'm reproducing and elaborating on my 43 Things post here), and yet thus far, I'm getting more feedback and encouragement on the goals and comments I post on 43 Things than I typically get on this blog.
My primary intent for this blog was to have a personal repository for thoughts and experiences, but perhaps I am more concerned with feedback than I originally acknowledged ... or perhaps something about the community within 43 Things is growing on (and through?) me.