A new year is beckoning.  A pristine, white piece of paper, a blank slate, an unstained tablecloth.  Whilst we do not want to incur any blemishes, we will do well to acknowledge that we also do not want our “slate” to remain entirely “blank” by the end of the year.  Put another way, we must strive to fill our year with good deeds and constant effort.  The means through which we fill our blank slate is through a soccer player’s favorite word: GOALS.

Even if one is naturally a goal-oriented person and has personal aspirations, a parent may not have created goals for their children, who may be incapable of doing this independently.  We as parents should try to create a realistic goal in an area our child needs to develop. (It does not necessarily have to be in Ruchnius).  We could share the goal with the child if we feel this will be beneficial to them.  As the year progresses we will have a baseline, a focus to invest in.

In contrast, if a parent is a more uncalculating or laid-back type, it may be a greater feat to create and stick to the goals.  Remember, for the sake of our chinuch it is worth making the efforts.  (Note: Parents do not have to fit into a personality mould, they may simply identify with one type more.  The main point is to have a self-awareness of how to identify a goal and work on achieving it.  Of great importance is ensuring that what we aim for is realistic. 

We have to constantly believe in each child’s unique greatness.  Despite moments of hopeless despair, our children have been given to us for a reason.  We have been given all the tools we need to raise them to reach the stars and actualize their potential.  If we as their parents do not believe they can become great – particularly in their Avodas HaShem – it is as though we are clipping their wings.  If we do believe in them and the siyata Dishmaya that is ever present along the way, our child can soar.

We want to achieve the maximum, yet beware of excessive goal making because this can set oneself up for failure.  It is the little steps that go a long way, especially when we have a goal for our destination.  And with that goal we can not only reach the stars, but we can become a spiritual source of light to everyone in our midst.



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