I have often said and written, “Mi k’amcha Yisrael?” It is always said out of love and gratitude. I truly believe that we Jews are a people that are taught from birth to love another like you love yourself. It’s not enough to take care of ourselves and our family, but our neighbors and even those in other neighborhoods, and countries that we don’t even know.

 You don’t have to be a fan of politics to admire the message of the commercials that the US Army created in the 1980s and 1990s. The message at the end of the commercial was simple: “Be all that you can be.” I think that is a great lesson and motto, and it can be used by all in life. Shoot for the stars! Aim high and don’t settle for average! Discover your potential. But some people don’t share my opinion – which is fine. Live your life and raise your family as you please. But I must say something when I find out that people are trying to pass along the message of “Mediocrity is okay if [insert the scenario here].” In this particular situation and scenario, I will fill in the blank: “Mediocrity is okay if you’re a woman looking for a shidduch and you have a chance to rise to your potential and have a great job/career doing what you love. But if you want to be a kallah, better settle for a job that doesn’t intimidate a prospective suitor.” Read on.

 I try to write about what appeals to everyone. I don’t just chase one type of reader. I am aiming for all readers to like my column, even though I know realistically that isn’t possible.

Just the other week, I was in my bedroom in my parents’ house, flipping through my elementary school yearbook. Memories came flooding back, some good, some not so good. If I could talk to my seventh and eighth grade self now, I would tell her sooo many things, including the fact that you can put ¾ cup of sugar in a recipe twice and not multiply ¾ cup by two and nothing horrible will happen. The cake will still turn out delicious! (I fear the day my children will come home with math homework that involves fractions.) I turned the pages, grimacing and rolling my eyes at most of the black and white images.

 I’m always for someone adding a little sparkle or a little extra to who they are to differentiate themselves and make themselves stand out in a crowd. So when I read this letter, I smiled, because this girl is doing all she can to separate herself from everyone else.

 Dear Goldy:

I am in my 40s and single. In all my years of dating, I think I may have gone out with a handful of men that I really liked, but for some reason or another, things didn’t work out. What my family (parents and married brothers) doesn’t understand is: I’m not the same 19-year-old girl that began dating over 20 years ago.