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Time for a New Start

The emergence back into public life is fraught with both trepidation and opportunity.

The world is different than we left it a little over a year ago.

I have lots of concerns. Are my shoes still in style? Is there even a “style” for the moment? I have become much less disciplined regarding social graces, and I fear I may inadvertently commit a social faux pas that has been easily managed with a mute button. Also, I am fairly sure I will never be comfortable in pants ever again knowing what I know now.

I hope that I can be a new person in a blossoming new world, a better version of myself. I want to use this moment as a springboard to draw nearer to the aspirational identity I have always found elusive.

In her newly released book, “How to Change,” Katy Milkman, a Wharton professor, and economist posits that rather than living our lives on a continuum, we create a life story with many episodes. She suggests that the greatest impediment to change is the burden of the previous episode with all its habits, regrets, hopes, and ideas. Milkman maintains that what we need is the rarest of opportunities, a “Blank Slate.”

Jesus taught this very concept. His nuance to the idea is radical in degree. If you want to be enlightened, you must be “born again.” John 3:3

Jesus said this to a member of the Jewish ruling council, Nicodemus. In his time, this man had achieved the pinnacle of education and authority. Nicodemus was an expert in the law and theology yet, could not get past his own expertise to find enlightenment. He comes to Jesus at night so his colleagues and peers wouldn’t know. He was looking for some incremental change that would be the tipping point to his substantial resume. Instead, Jesus tells him to start life over. Jettison all you think you know and become like a child with a clean slate. Learn about life as if for the first time.

Wouldn’t you like a fresh start?

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