My friend Musycks makes a very difficult point to hear. I'm not sure I can heap the past 2000 years of Jewish history upon the Rabbi's shoulders as he tries to make a simple point that may in the end be a good deal of the solution to the problems Musycks alludes to. We can choose to be cynical or we can choose to trust. Each path (cynicism or trust) will provide a life experience that is distinct with its own costs and rewards. The cost of cynicism that comes to me through Musycks response is relationship. Maybe not as apparent in a blog format but certainly if it were in a face to face conversation. I cannot see 2000 years of history in his simple words I can only seen the Rabbi.
If I take the Rabbi at face value I find empowerment in his words and the possibility of taking my place in the world community with an eye toward contribution. Although anyone's personal scale of effort can be out of balance from time to time it feels intuitively better to me to be out of balance toward giving than taking. It seems to provide intangible rewards that give me energy and sense of purposeful being. Hmmph, imagine that, contribution as an attitude toward building a better world.
I say Rabbi you rock.