Should We Move To Texas?
I took a trip to Washington D.C. to visit my step-uncle and aunt and comfort them for the loss of their daughters. Torah teaches that visiting mourners, especially in their home, is comforting to the mourners and to the deceased.
Indeed, the process of death is painful not only to the family of the deceased, but to the deceased themselves. The ability to do productive work, help people and do mitzvahs is only possible while alive in this physical world, and this is why death is painful (unlike what most people think, that death is the end of pain). We mourn with the dead over the lost opportunities to give light to the world.
On the way back, I stopped in Dallas, TX for a day. It made $$ sense and gave me the opportunity to visit a couple good friends and supporters who have moved there.
Here are some observations and reflections from the visit:
Texas was very different than I expected. I wasn’t expecting the toll roads and traffic. Instead of Ford and Chevy pickup trucks, I was surprised to see Teslas and Maseratis on the road. And for the first time in my life, I saw a Tesla solar roof (never saw one in California).
The sales tax was the same as California, and the prices of goods were the same, besides for food which was more expensive and gas which was cheaper. The weather was pretty miserable. 100 degrees and thunder storming.
The people were nice, just like California. The roads were very inferior, full of bumpy cracks, and I could barely find any sidewalks or curbs, besides for the inconspicuous ones in the middle of intersections that I almost drove over a couple times. I now have more appreciation for the development fees to pay for curb and gutter, sidewalks & underground power lines which the city is going to make us install at the property.
From the many Californians that have moved to Texas from Temecula and elsewhere, I’ve noticed a couple trends.
The people who moved for work, family, community and Jewish education are very happy
The people who move for taxes, “freedom”, gas prices or politics fed to them by media are unhappy.
What’s the lesson?
There is no such thing as California is good and Texas is bad. And there’s no such thing as Texas is good and California is bad. What makes life good or bad is whether you’re seizing the moment that G-d gave you and utilizing that moment to it’s fullest. If G-d guided you to California, you have a purpose here. If He guided you to Texas or Hawaii or Brazil, you have a purpose there. Don’t try running away from purpose and use politics or freedom as a self righteous excuse.
Sometimes, purpose and mission can shift. Sometimes it’s clear that moving to another place is the right thing.
Moving without any purpose other than politics, peer pressure or the “small stuff” of life, though, it's just a recipe for emptiness & misery.
Let’s pay more attention to the purpose and mission G-d expects of us right here and right now.
So, no, we’re not moving to Texas. Natanya and I have our work cut out for us in Temecula, but it’s still a nice place to visit :)