A few days ago I visited the CNN headquarters in Atlanta. Their big logo, which can be seen at the entrance, is: Facts First. It is true, first we need facts. But what do we do with them? What story do we tell, what is the lesson and what is the message to be learned from the facts? We do not always influence the facts, but we always influence their interpretation.
At the peak of the Exodus of Egypt, when the sea split and the people passed through there in the middle, our Sages tell us that a shocking thing occurred: There were Jews who at that moment went out to freedom, yet did not stop complaining. In Egypt we worked hard and it wasn’t pleasant, they told each other, but also here – and there is mud and our shoes get dirty”. That is, one can win total freedom, the fulfillment of one’s biggest dreams – yet not notice it at all and focus only on kvetching and on what’s missing. It is important when it comes to the Media, which decides what things to bring to the front and in what tone to speak, but it is also important when it comes to us. Facts First, but what do we choose to do with the facts? Do we see the blessing too, or choose to always talk about that which is not OK? We must pay attention to the interpretation we give to the facts, so we wouldn’t miss our own Exodus of Egypt.