The First Lesson: Personal Responsibility

Following sin…

Following the sin of the tree of knowledge Adam heard God ask him איכה ayeka – “Where are you”? (Genesis 3:9) Yet, in the Jewish Bible all other vocalizations of this same word are Eicha – “How”? (For Ex. – Lamentations 1:1) When something unfortunate happens to us our initial reaction is often: “How did this happen to me?” How unfair!” This is the passive mentality of a victim that leads to shaming oneself and blaming others.  It will not lead to a solution nor will it lead to growth.

Yet, if we look at the first usage of the word איכה (ayeka), we learn how to properly respond when things don’t go as expected: Rather than ask “How did this happen to me?” God is asking us: “Where are you in all of this?”

Rather than focus on how this happened, we should reflect on our role in it and more importantly what we can do about it. This is a positive, active approach that focuses on solutions and growth.

From this we see that from the very beginning God has given us the prescription for dealing with all of life’s challenges; We ask ourselves: “Where am I in all of this and what can I do to make things better?”