Loosen up and en­joy

Activated - - FRONT PAGE - 1. Mu­sic by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Shel­don Har­nick. 2. John 16:33 Rosane Pereira is an English teacher and writer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and a mem­ber of the Fam­ily In­ter­na­tional. By Rosane Pereira

We can learn a lot about cop­ing with change from the clas­sic mu­si­cal Fid­dler on the Roof. The story takes place at

1 the be­gin­ning of the 20th cen­tury and fea­tures a Jewish fam­ily suf­fer­ing from poverty and religious per­se­cu­tion in the south of Rus­sia. The father, Tevye, com­plains about hav­ing five daugh­ters and no sons, not the ideal dis­tri­bu­tion on a farm. To make mat­ters worse, his three older daugh­ters picked hus­bands he didn’t ap­prove of, one of them an Ortho­dox goy. Through­out the story, when­ever there is trou­ble or change in the air, a man play­ing a fid­dle on a roof ap­pears to him in a vi­sion.

At the end, the fam­ily—and the en­tire Jewish com­mu­nity—is forced to leave their small town, dur­ing win­ter, with each fam­ily go­ing to be with rel­a­tives in dis­tant parts of the world. Tevye is forced to sell his old horse be­cause of a bad hoof and has to push the wagon con­tain­ing his few be­long­ings down the road him­self, fol­lowed by his wife and two younger daugh­ters. Then the fid­dler ap­pears again, play­ing his in­stru­ments cheer­fully. At first, Tevye re­jects the vi­sion and al­most curses it, but af­ter a few mo­ments, he lights up and be­gins to walk with re­newed gusto to the rhythm of the fid­dler’s song.

The lessons of this movie tran­scend time and place. Changes do get eas­ier when we sub­mit to them, in­stead of re­sist­ing. Our lives are full of ob­sta­cles and even per­se­cu­tions. We face chal­lenges and changes in re­la­tion­ships, ca­reers, home life, health, looks, phys­i­cal ap­pear­ance, stamina, and so on.

Get­ting mar­ried and hav­ing chil­dren can bring the big­gest upheavals in life­style. With a hus­band or wife, we have to think about their feel­ings and emo­tions, their likes and dis­likes, care for them, get hurt and for­give again and again. When chil­dren come, we have to let go of per­sonal pur­suits, with di­a­pers, lack of sleep, worry, and con­sid­er­ably less free­dom left for our­selves.

But as the old Brazil­ian say­ing goes, “We must dance ac­cord­ing to the mu­sic.” Ro­mans 8:18 says: “The suf­fer­ings of this present time are not wor­thy to be com­pared to the glory that shall be re­vealed in us.” And Je­sus said: “In the world you will have tribu­la­tion; but be of good cheer, I have over­come the world.”


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