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Thoughts and Reflections about Memorial Day

Today is Memorial Day in Israel, and being that we are a tiny country with a civilian army, it is something that hits close to home for everyone. It is always an extremely difficult day, but this year, it is far more challenging than usual due to the heinous attacks on Israel on Oct. 7, the ongoing war, and the rising antisemitism and political instability around the world.

Amidst all this turbulence, I am doing my best to find strength and keep moving forward. This is not an easy task, but we, as a nation, have no choice. Although I have been unable to reconcile my thoughts about what this all means or where things are going, I realized that many of my thoughts and feelings of uncertainty are similar to those I felt a few years ago during the pandemic.

At the time, I did some serious soul-searching about the meaning of life and our role in this world. I shared these reflections in an afterward of my book “Moving Forward: Reflections on Autism, Neurodiversity, Brain Surgery, and Faith” titled “Reflections on the Pandemic.”

I thought it would be meaningful to share them with you now, as I believe they are even more relevant today than when I wrote them.  

Reflections on the Pandemic

“It is the end of 2020, which has proven to be a highly tumultuous year for all. In the face of the worldwide pandemic and political and financial instability, I imagine many people have started to ask themselves questions about the meaning of life. They have begun to think about the changes they need to make in their lives and what needs to be done to improve society.

Many folks have been forced far out of their comfort zones. Individuals, families, and societies have been given no other option but to begin rebuilding their lives. There have been global shifts in power, and there will likely be more to come.

The world needs to begin to heal and to move forward. People are seeking ways to enable this to happen.

By the time you have reached this point in this book, it will have become clear to you I have been grappling with these types of questions for many years. They became even more relevant for me the moment I opened my eyes in the ICU and realized I was still present in this world.

In light of this, I would like to offer a few words of optimism for the future. Sometimes when we are forced to restart everything, it’s an opportunity to reconsider our place in the world and a call to take action in face of significant challenges.

I have seen so many people struggling with the lockdowns and the restrictions on their personal freedom. Political and financial insecurity have made things even worse. They no longer have trust in their governments, and they do not believe the authorities and companies responsible for taking care of the public will actually do so. It appears many of these leaders espouse the values that personal gain, money, pride, and power are far more important to them than keeping the interests of the public in mind.

A lot of people have lost faith that things will improve. This can be a dangerous line of thinking.

I believe the remedy to this situation lies within each one of us. We can all start thinking about what we can do to improve things. Every individual has the power to make a difference.

There is no end to the good we can do. Even if we begin by taking the tiniest steps, we can have a positive influence on those around us. We can start anytime, and from anywhere, as technology enables us to reach each other in seconds, even from within the confines of our own homes.

Things will only get better if we begin to take things into our own hands and start changing the world by ourselves. No politicians or big business leaders will do this for us. It needs to come from within every one of us. We are all capable of contributing something, no matter how big or small.

I believe every person was born into this world with a mission at hand. If people take it upon themselves to discover what their unique calling is, and then see how they can use it to contribute to society, things will begin to improve.

If every individual would simply take a look around them, and then reach out to someone and to make their day just a little bit brighter, we will help each other build a better, healthier world. One step forward can set the ball in motion. And when a ball starts rolling, it can go quite a distance. It’s well known that good deeds lead to other good deeds, and mitzvot lead to other mitzvot.

There is a statement in Judaism that says a tiny bit of light dispels a great amount of darkness. I imagine most people have seen how one small candle disperses light throughout an entire room.

In the face of these incredibly challenging times, I would like to propose that every one of us try to empower ourselves to become one of the candles that lights up the world.

It is said the darkest part of the night appears just before dawn. We might just be at the darkest part of the night. And, G-d willing, if we all make an effort, we can all help to bring about the dawn of a new era. Together, we can work toward the common good to build a better, more caring, and prosperous world.”

As Memorial Day draws to a close and Independence Day is approaching, I can only hope and pray for an end to the war and tumult in this world.  May G-d put an end to this enveloping darkness, and may we all find our strength and mission and succeed in bringing light and goodness to humankind.

***If you’d like to learn more about my book, read my blog, and sign up for my mailing list, I invite you to visit my website, I also invite you to forward this newsletter to anyone you believe will find it insightful and empowering.

If you have additional inquiries or would like to book my presentation, “A Journey into the World of Neurodiversity,” please email me at

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Jacki Edry

Jacki Edry

Jacki Edry is a graduate of Hampshire College and has an extensive background in education, writing, and marketing. She has been exploring the world of autism and neurodiversity for over thirty-five years. 

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Moving Forward  is a journey between the worlds of autism, neurodiversity, brain surgery recovery, and faith. It provides a rare glimpse into how sensory and neurological processing affect functioning and thought, through the eyes of a professional, parent, and woman who has experienced them firsthand.

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