Daily 10Q

Has the World Gone Crazy?

Saturday, October 1st, 2011

Question 4: Describe an event in the world that has impacted you this year. How? Why?

2011 has been a year where historic world events seemed to have been occurring by the hour, not just the day; tsunamis in Japan, earthquakes on the East Coast of America, Facebook inspired turnovers of governments, the London riots. How have these events effected your world-view and the way you live your day-to-day life? Do you find yourself more engaged with what is happening in the world around you or does it make you turn off the TV, cancel the newspaper subscription and turn inwards? In 2010,  there were a lot of references to the BP Oil spill, to Haiti, to the fight for gay marriage, and the flotilla to Gaza. And while some people feared for the future of our planet,  the reactions weren’t only of fear and despondency. One 10Qer wrote, “The massive earthquake in Haiti. I was really amazed at the way the world pulled together to help out. People from all walks of life made a point to donate money, time, and energy to helping them rebuild. It was incredible to see, and helped to restore my faith in humanity.” This year, what world event would you like to ponder? And has it effected you on a personal level? Has it made you feel more like a global citizen or has it pushed you to pull down the shades and immerse yourself deeper into your community at home?

AJWS President Answers 10Q Question 4

Saturday, October 1st, 2011

American Jewish World Service (AJWS), an “international development and human rights organization driven by Judaism’s imperative to pursue justice,” has partnered with 10Q this year. As part of the partnership, Ruth Messinger, president of AJWS answered the fourth question of 10Q:

Question 4:Describe an event in the world that has impacted you this year. How? Why?

Over the past weeks and months, I’ve been shaken to the core by images documenting the horrific effects of the famine in East Africa—a crisis that intensified in July and has since taken tens of thousands of lives. At least 12 million people in Somalia and neighboring Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti are suffering from acute food shortages and malnutrition.

Food plays a central and sensory role in the lives of most American Jews, particularly during the Jewish holidays. In many ways, food is a map of our history. Meals, recipes and the acts of eating and drinking teach us about who we are, where we live and where we come from. It’s virtually impossible for us to imagine the horror of not having access to the food we desire or to any food at all. So when we turn on the news and see photos of skeletal, starving children, our instinct is to look away. We direct our attention to more manageable problems in our day-to-day lives: a faulty internet connection or a broken washing machine.

I frequently remind people that there are no easy solutions to global hunger; no quick fixes for decades of political conflict and natural disasters. But, as I often say, we must not retreat to the convenience of being overwhelmed. Change is possible. Work is being done. Take, for example, AJWS’s long-time partner Northern Aid (NAID)—an organization that has been implementing relief, rehabilitation and development initiatives in northeastern Kenya since 1995. Through an innovative, locally-sourced food distribution program, (NAID) is providing direct assistance to marginalized pastoralist communities and vulnerable female-headed households in northern Kenya. NAID is buying goats and cows that will not survive the drought and slaughtering the animals to distribute meat to over 10,000 vulnerable households. This is providing a livelihood to pastoralists whose entire herds will likely be wiped out. It’s also preventing livestock prices from completely bottoming out and supplying much-needed income to pastoralists so they can support their families.

There is much we can do in the United States to ensure that the world’s most marginalized people have control over their own land and can grow their own food sustainably. We must invest more wisely in agriculture so that the hungriest people in the world are no longer victims of land grabs, deforestation, drought and disease. And we must reform our international food aid system so that small-scale farmers in developing countries can replant decimated crops to benefit local communities.

As I begin the New Year, I remind myself that fighting global injustices such as food insecurity takes time, patience and creative thinking. It is a process that requires leaps of faith, strategic risks and clarity of vision. But this work gets to the core of being Jewish—whether our Jewish identity is animated by food, social values, or ritual. It is work that we must prioritize and for which our energies are desperately needed.

Buried Emotions Come Out with 10Q

Friday, September 30th, 2011

Question 3: Think about a major milestone that happened with your family this past year. How has this affected you?

The very emotional pictures of families of Sept. 11 victims on the anniversary of the attacks prompted many people to think about their own families and what their parents, siblings, aunts and uncles mean to them. Did it bring you closer? Did you call your family members on the 9/11 anniversary? In the past, today’s question has made people really reexamine and rethink their relationships to family, friends and partners. “I completely underestimated my parents and everything they have been providing for me all of these years. I’ve definitely become a lot closer to my family because of this realization,” wrote one 10Qer last year in answer to the question.Others just wrote of important milestones: “The girl I’ve been dating long-distance off and on for four years moved cross-country to live with me at last,” wrote a 10Qer triumphantly. What will the question do for you?

How Much Does a Regret Weigh?

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

Question 2: Is there something that you wish you had done differently this past year? Alternatively, is there something you’re especially proud of from this past year?

We all have regrets. We just don’t all share them. The second question of this year’s 10Q project, like the second question of last year’s and the year before, deals with these regrets. Is there something that you wish you had done differently the past year? Answers often focus on family—poor treatment of a cousin, anger toward a spouse—or, barring that, friends. Sometimes the responses are more philosophical. Last year, one woman wrote that she wished she could have learned to see every negative comment as an opportunity to sympathize with the things about the world that oppress others. But you certainly don’t have to be that open-minded. Alternatively, the question can address something in the last year that made you especially proud. Studies have shown that in answering this question, pessimists outnumber optimists three to one.

Time to Get Your 10Q On.

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

Question 1: Describe a significant experience that has happened in the past year. How did it affect you? Are you grateful? Relieved? Resentful? Inspired?

Hey 10Q-ers,

Welcome to 10Q day 1. If you’ve never done it before, 10Qers of years past will tell you, the experience hits on several levels. Just pondering a question and writing down an answer can be a satisfying experience in the moment, and sometimes in ways that aren’t immediately apparent. Couple that with what you’ll get when you receive your answers back next year, and then fast forward ten years, and suddenly you’ll have a lovely slice of your last decade. Perfect for self reflection, perfect for sharing with those you love, if you so wish. So, while we live in a super fast paced world and sometimes the prospect of slowing down and going inside for even fifteen minutes or so fills us with fear, take the leap, schedule the time and just see what comes. It may surprise you. And it might be one of the best things you’ve done all week.

And so to the first question, what was a significant experience in your life this past year? Looking at the answers from the past few years of 10Q, it’s clear that this question means very different things to different people. Last year, one person shared, “My father decided to retire from farming earlier than we anticipated. I am partly grateful and relieved as his safety was worrying me, but I also concerned about how he will fill his days without driving my mother barmy.” People also tackled life and death issues: “My first real boyfriend died in a motorcycle accident. It was hard to get past, it still is hard to get past, but somehow every morning I wake up and get through the day.” Sometimes the most significant experiences were the small ones that illustrated something bigger, as in the following entry: “I learned how to ride a bike, and I’m 15.  I did it with the help of my best friend, not my parents or sister.  I felt fully independent, no helmet, around and around the court.  Looking back on it, I felt so strong.” Sometimes, the significant event was the fact that nothing significant occurred at all. Then you have to ask yourself, are you ok with that? Do you need to push yourself in any way to create more significant events in your life or do you simply need to re-frame the way you are looking at your life? So, take a moment today and ask yourself to ponder something that happened in your world over the past year and ask yourself what it meant to you? Often pondering how you reacted to a certain situation is as important as the actual experience at hand.

Reflect Now. You May Be Surprised By What You Find.

Monday, September 26th, 2011
Here at 10Q HQ we are getting lots of feedback through Facebook and email from 10Qers who have received their 2010 answers from the vault. They are amazed to see how different their thinking is and excited to see where they were at last year. Some 10Qers were inspired to take action now to act on their goals of last year before the calendar year is over.
Beth Mencis Bacall reflected: “I just received and read mine. I must say it is disappointing to think about how little action I have taken in the past year on things that I know are important to my growth and happiness.”
Angelica Jayne Taggart wrote: “I received mine yesterday…I was disappointed – however, I realized that I still have a few months until the end of this year — so I’m getting on it!!”

Jan Schwartz stated: “I actually felt pretty good about most of the actions I’ve taken, save one or two. Those will no doubt find there way into the answers for this year.”

Annette Gold commented: “It was a cool surprise to get my email yesterday! One of the things I wrote was that I wanted to get back to a Size 10. I was roughly a Size 16/18 when I filled in the form last year. I have since lost 40 pounds and have gotten into a Size 10!! Voila. I also said that I wanted to be in a romantic relationship and I believe I am…albeit long distance…with a guy I met on JDate. :) Shana Tova!!”

Lisette van Elst wrote: “ Very pleased with the email yesterday. To read back the goals you make for yourself. The outcome is very positive! Looking forward doing it again for this year.”

Christopher Whalen reflected: “It was quite strange reading the email yesterday – very different from viewing a photo of myself from a year ago; more like reading an old diary entry. It’s me, but it’s also not me. Slightly embarrassing. I’m always optimistic my love life will change, but it never seems to. Still have many of the same goals.”

C.J. Ellisson wrote: “I found it fascinating to see how some of my goals were the same and others were reached easier than I thought.”

Victor Owoyele said: “‎90% of my expectation were fulfilled including a wish for my current national president to elected President of Nigeria. I enjoyed the time spent reflecting.”

The 2011 process begins in just two days. So get ready to reflect again.

Start thinking about your regrets, big things that happened in your family, global events that shaped you this year, spiritual or emotional realizations you’ve had. You will find that you enjoy the pause, the time to really examine your feelings, experiences and beliefs – beyond just what you post publicly to your friends and followers on Facebook or Twitter.

Get ready to get your 10Q on. http://www.DoYou10Q.com

Remember Your New Year Reflections with 10Q

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

10Q co-founder Nicola Behrman writes on the blog of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles about the history of the 10Q project:

“A few years back, at REBOOT summit, I found myself thinking a lot about the art of reflection and the importance of conserving memories; my grandma had recently died and I was taken with the fact that she had left virtually no written record of her internal life. A hundred thousand bowls of chicken soup over the years but not a single journal or letter.”

See the entire blog here

Reflect back, Reflect forward

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

Hey 10Q-er,

By now you should have received your 2010 10Q answers back by email.

What did it feel like to see what you were thinking last year? Have you made the changes you said you wanted to?  Do you have extra resolve to make them happen if they didn’t? How about new goals?

But before you 10Q again starting Sept. 28, we’d love to hear what it felt like reading the answers and visiting with your last year’s Self.

So reflect on reflection on our 10Q Facebook and Twitter pages.

If you didn’t get your answers back or are having any technical issues, email us at: 10Qsupport@renewyear.com

All the best,

10Q HQ

10Q:  Life’s Biggest Questions.  Answered By You.

Don’t tweet it, Facebook it, or even Google+ it: 10Q it!

Monday, September 19th, 2011

Reboot’s 10Q project starts Sept. 28

In an era where most reflection happens publicly in 140 characters or less, the 10Q project provides a private, deeper online forum for personal reflection beyond the waffles you had for breakfast.

Timed to coincide with the Jewish New Year, traditionally a time of introspection and self-reflection, 10Q will email you a question a day for 10 days about the year that’s past and the year to come. After the 10-day period, send your answers to a digital vault. A year later, you will get your answers back and you can begin the process again. Over time, you will build up an archive of sorts of beliefs, experiences and feelings.

“Thanks to new technologies like texting and Twitter, people have more opportunities than ever to express themselves, but fewer than ever to express themselves well,” said 10Q co-founder Ben Greenman, a New Yorker editor. “What 10Q wants people to do is what people should want to do for themselves — to reflect on life without worrying about status updates.”

Powered by Reboot, an incubator of Jewish arts and culture, with Greenman, screenwriter Nicola Behrman, and Reboot Acting Executive Director Amelia Klein, the 10Q project (http://DoYou10Q.com) is in its fourth year.

Want to see 10Q live and in person? Attend one of our live “WITH REGRETS” events in New York and Los Angeles – two evenings of comedy, storytelling and atonement dedicated to our biggest confessions of 2011.

On Sept. 22 in LA, comedian Moshe Kasher will host with performers such as Time Magazine columnist and humorist Joel Stein; TV writer Tami Sagher; author and Found magazine co-founder Davy Rothbart; comedian and Conan writer Todd Levin; SMITH Magazine and The Six-Word Memoir Project founder Larry Smith; and actor Michaela Watkins. (8 p.m. M Bar, 1253 Vine St., LA. Reservations required at 323.856.0036).

On Sept. 27 in NY, comedians Jessica Chaffin and Jessi Klein will host with performers such as comedian and storyteller Michele Carlo; L Magazine’s Jonny Diamond; author and Esquire editor at large A.J. Jacobs; New Yorker editor and author Ben Greenman; Record Setter founder Dan Rollman, comedian Mark Malkoff; and radio personality Starlee Kine. (8 p.m. Drom, 85 Avenue A, NY). For more information about the events, visit http://rebooters.net.

The events are also sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles in partnership with Smith Magazine and the Six-Word Memoir Project, Record Setter, Found Magazine and East Side Jews.

You don’t need to be Jewish to 10Q. While the 10Q project is a reinvention of the ancient ritual of reflection between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, and occurs during the Jewish High Holidays, it is intended for people of all backgrounds and has attracted participation of people of many denominations, including Catholics, Episcopalians, Buddhists and Muslims. The 10Q questions are about your place on the planet, and the planet’s place within you.

If you participated last year, your answers will be sent back to you on Wednesday.

Otherwise, get your 10Q on! Sign up now at http://DoYou10Q.com