YWOTD: Mensch, Mentsh

There are times that I say to people as my mother would say, “Be a mensch.”

What, you may ask, is a mensch?
Well, a mensch is a person of character. A mensch is a person who is recognized by others as an individual of worth because of noble values or actions.
ref: The First Words You Learn, Selected Yiddish Words and Phrases – impress your friends and family

Also spelled as mentsh, this Yiddish word is defined “An honorable, decent person, an authentic person, a person who helps you when you need help. Can be a man, woman or child.” over at Daily Writing Tips, The Yiddish Handbook: 40 Words You Should Know.

Over at Bubby® Gram, we read this “Mensch: literally, “man,” but usually referring to a decent human being, a good, honest person who always takes the high road. Being called a mensch is the ultimate compliment.”
ref: The glossary from Bubby® Gram.

All my adult life I have attempted to live up to my mother’s pronouncement to be a mensch. I hope I have done so and made her proud. I can only hope so.

As an aside, it is my opinion that the world needs more people who live their lives in such a way as each could be referred to as a mensch.


About Roland Louis Hansen

I have been: an organization development consultant; a college-level instructor of political science, psychology, and sociology; a public administrator; a social worker; an elected official; a political operative; a community activist; a union official; a shoe salesman and manager, a factory worker; a fast food restaurant employee; and, a custodian.
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