I remember a couple of years ago, my wife Ana and I were invited to work with upper level management team of The Ministries of Science, Energy, Mining and Technology of the country of Jamaica. Our work was so well received, we were invited back a couple more times to then work with with Mid-Level Management and then those who worked in the Ministry Department.
We loved Jamaica. We loved the people, we loved the land, we loved the heart and the kindness that people showed us everywhere we went. The first time, the retreat was held at a resort in Ocho Rios and of course we fell in love with the country. Gorgeous beaches, beautiful resort, kind people.
The second time we came, the team could not get away for the whole time so we stayed in Kingston and took buses up to a beautiful mountain retreat, called Strawberry Hill for our time together. Getting people away from their offices was important. For me, it was here, in these mountains overlooking Kingston that i saw something. On that mountain, I understood anew the importance of perspective and the beauty of elevation.
As beautiful as Jamaica is, the country has a lot of poverty and there are sections of the city of Kingston that are gorgeous and other sections that made me sad. Shacks, unfinished houses, poverty filled streets. From the street level, in the city part of Kingston, the poverty was overwhelming.
But in the mountains of Strawberry Hill, we overlooked the city of Kingston and the Kingston Harbour. From the mountains, the view of Kingston is gorgeous.You do not see the poverty that you see up close, you see one the beauty of the land and the water.
ELEVATION changes how we see what we see. From down below it is a broken down city, from up above it is a gorgeous view that tourists take pictures of and people use as a beautiful backdrop for lounging by the pool or having a drink and dinner. Same city viewed completely differently.
This is the power of ELEVATION. Its relevance is not only in making a broken down city look gorgeous, but imagine how it can change the way we view everything in life. When the troubles of life come, ELEVATE. When life looks ugly, ELEVATE. When there is violence and disagreement,, ELEVATE. When there is bigotry and racism, ELEVATE.
Do you know how to ELEVATE?
I learned this first from The Rebbe. He is the one who trained me for five years in the seminary . Whenever I told him, I was troubled by something, he always told me the same thing.
He would hold his hand out to his side palm down and tell me, “Troubles exist on this level. We are the ones that change, When we believe in ourselves, we grow and troubles seem like a little pebble in the road, but when we question ourselves, we shrink and troubles suddenly appear to big insurmountable mountains.
But neither view is true. It is all the change of perspective that comes from ELEVATION.