If you are reading the JT then you are already part of a club even if you think, like me, that you would “not join a club that would have me as a member.”
There are many types of clubs one could join or just be considered part of. No, I am not talking about night clubs, swim clubs, shopping clubs, etc.
Why do we have clubs, join clubs or otherwise need clubs anyway? I guess the reality is we humans are a social species and we need to belong. Clubs allow us to share common ideas, values or activities. Sometimes people use groups to organize against another group or individual and these kinds of clubs represent the lowest common denominator of society.
I must say that the political position of the many different groups at either end of the spectrum of thought and philosophy is very discouraging to me and I think it may lead to people disconnecting from groups.
I certainly don’t want to be labeled as this or that simply because I belong to a group or because I agree with various positions a group might embrace. Think about how people push their agendas on those of us who are not part of their group. It happens in many political, social and academic groups with great regularity and I would ask you to stand up for yourself, think for yourself and be strong enough to defend your own thoughts, feelings and way of life.
Hate speech, attack ads, “fake news” and the many ways society tries to shape public opinion should suggest you pause and take stock of your beliefs, convictions and attitudes. Before we suggest Fox News is this or MSNBC is that, or that Donald Trump is this and Hillary Clinton is that, we should make sure we have done our part to really think about how we contribute to derech eretz and making the world a better place for us and our children.
I for one belong to the “Being Zayde” club and it is a wonderful club that I invite each one of you to join (whether you have grandchildren or not). Being Zayde reminds me of what is truly important in life. You can’t be a Zayde without truly offering love, respect and guidance to others.
Vito Simone is a Pikesville resident and member of Moses Montefiore Anshe Emunah.