Meeting Your Inner Mentsch

Sit in a comfortable chair with both feet on the floor and your weight evenly distributed. Close your eyes if you like. Breathe slowly and deeply. Feel your breath as it enters and fills your lungs. Follow your breath as it slowly leaves your body through your nose. Feel the warm sense of relaxation spread throughout your body, from your lungs to your chest and heart, from your heart to your neck and brain. Even your fingers and toes feel relaxed.

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In your mind’s eye see yourself in front of a massive glass skyscraper. Walk through the revolving door and read the office directory in the lobby. You look for and find “I. M. Mentsch, Inc.” You enter a waiting elevator, and press the correct button.

The elevator door opens you are standing at the end of a very long corridor with many offices along each wall. As you walk, you check the nameplate and number for each office. You walk to the end of the hall and come at last to the door marked “I. M. Mentsch.”

A pleasant voice answers your knock, asking you to enter. When you open the door you find yourself in a well-furnished, comfortable office. Behind a desk sits I. M. Mentsch, who rises to greet you. Mentsch shakes your hand warmly, as befits old friends. You both sit down and begin to talk.

“Where have you been, my chaver (friend)?” Mentsch asks benevolently. “Why don’t we see each other more often? What keeps us so out of touch?”

You respond honestly and directly. You ask Mentsch to explain how mentschlichlkeit (being a mentsch) works, and how you can connect to the mentschlich (humane) side of yourself. You ask Mentsch about changes you have to make and risks you have to take in order connect with your mentsch, and to give yourself a chance to follow the journey of discovery that you and your mentsch will take.

Talk together and ask whatever questions you wish. Listen carefully to the answers… (allow 10-15 minutes to elapse).

You know without being told it is time to leave. You both stand and say goodbye. You leave the office thoughtfully. You ride the elevator to the lobby leave the building through the revolving door. You are filled with a sense of well-being pulsing through you. In your mind call quietly: “Mentsch?” You hear Mentsch’s answer, “I’m here with you.” When you are ready, open your eyes.

Recall what happened during this experience. Write a memo summarizing what you said and heard. How does it feel to meet your mentsch and what you can do to keep in contact with it.

A Memoir on Meeting My Mentsch

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