Be a Mensch

A word I grew up hearing a lot in my house was “Mensch.”  It’s a Yiddish word which means “a real human being, standup guy, a person of integrity and honor, someone whom you always can count on, a decent, caring person—man or woman.”  Whenever I heard my mother, father, or grandparents refer to someone as a real Mensch, I knew that individual was being given the highest stamp of approval.

A Mensch is trustworthy; are you?  Does your word have meaning, or do you toss promises around like confetti, without regard to backing them up with action?  F. Scott Fitzgerald said, “Action is character.”  It’s so easy to say, “Sure, I’ll do that for you,” and then put it on the backburner, forget all about it.  A Mensch never forgets to follow up.

A Mensch likes his fellow man/woman; do you?  Do you truly like to be with people, or do you see them as pains in the derriere, irritants to be put up with and avoided if at all possible?

A Mensch wants to serve his fellow man/woman, make a positive difference in their lives; do you?  Or are they all out there only to serve you, to provide for your benefit?  Do you devote time to thinking of ways to serve and help others, or do you spend all your time at the well of narcissism, admiring your reflection?

A Mensch is honest in all business dealings; are you?  If it isn’t win-win, a Mensch isn’t going to participate; just the thought of taking unfair advantage of someone is so abhorred to a Mensch, it gives him an aching in his gut.  A Mensch never would unethically sell out anyone for the “right price.” Nor would he ruthlessly try to advance himself at another’s expense.

We live in such a rushed world these days; we’re all so damn busy running around like that chicken with its head cut off, we’re oblivious, completely out of touch with the important people in our lives, to say nothing of the “strangers” (a stranger is simply someone you just haven’t had the pleasure of getting to know yet) we come into contact with.  When I was a kid, people found the time to make sure they behaved like a Mensch; today, not so much.  I think it’s time to stop, catch our collective breath, and start thinking and behaving like a Mensch, don’t you?  So let me suggest you lead the way.  Today; right this minute.  Make a commitment to be a Mensch and make this a better world to live in—for yourself, your family and friends, and all you come in contact with.  You know what they’ll say about you?

They’ll say, “He’s a real Mensch!”  And won’t that just be terrific?