There’s a Jewish teaching that I associate (I think correctly) with Rebbe Nachman of Breslov:

“If you believe that we can break something then you must also believe that we can mend it.”

Unfortunately, it’s much easier to break things than to mend them.

It’s much easier to tear down than to build up.

It’s much easier to destroy than to create.

And yet, at least according to Jewish tradition, the essence of our humanity is our capacity to create.

For many years I assumed that certain things that I’d created would always be there. In some cases my assumption has proven to be correct. But in other cases my assumption has been disproven.

Between tearing down and building up there’s some middle ground. We can try to maintain some of the things we’ve built, without allocating the intensive energy that it takes to actively shape them. Or, we can neglect the things we’ve built up. When we neglect them we run the risk of one day discovering that they’re in disrepair, abandoned, and no longer what we thought they were. As much of life is spent necessarily in this middle ground I think we’d all do well to assess whether we’re maintaining or neglecting that which we’ve built with our hands, our hearts, and our lives.

Tearing down and building up