The recent unconscionable scandal involving Bernard Madoff has engendered enormous feelings of betrayal, shame and mistrust in the Jewish and philanthropic communities. Sadly, there have been other examples of individuals who "betrayed their own people" in other religious, racial and ethnic communities.
Sometimes it can feel like we are swimming in a sea of Madoffs. In addition to the financial devastation that so many people and institutions have experienced, the story of Bernard Madoff is a poignant mirror of the collective shadow (thank you Carl Jung) that exists within each of us. How blessed we are to have so many resources available for personal and community growth, and so we can wrestle with our shadows in the service of health and healing. This is an essential aspect of psychotherapy as well as various spiritual practices and social justice movements.