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PREPENT DAY 32: Not Eight Zeros: Change your passwords for safety and as spellwords with intentions for a better you this year.

PREPENT DAY 32
Tishrei 3 5776  – September 16 2015
NYC

images-1I installed a fingerprint recognition security option on my iphone and only my thumb can open it, much to my kids fascination and frustration. I thought about this as the words from the liturgy described the Book of Life and how each person’s seal is imprinted upon it, unique and utterly responsible. How do we choose to leave our hand and footprints in this world? How do we declare our presence and intentions with clarity and integrity and safety?

So on this first work day of the new year, Prepent day 32, with all intentions fresh for new beginnings, I am changing my passwords on all digital devices. This is not perhaps the most heart based spiritual of practices for these days of awe but in the spirit of prepent for soul and body and well being, back to center,  I see it is a symbolic and strategic way to remind myself of restarting whatever I can in my life.

Recently I read in ‘today I found out’  that  for two decades during the Cold War, the passcode to launch nukes out of every silo in the United States was eight zeros. “The Strategic Air Command went out of their way to make launching a nuclear missile as easy, and quick, as possible.” That meant making the password extremely easy to remember. There’s also a high likelihood that there was a hastily written sticky note on the president’s computer monitor that read “PW: 00000000”

IMG_0071-0-1170x658Passwords are our ways of keeping safe in an increasing digital reality where so many basics of our being and survival can be pried into and messed with against our will. It’s wise to change them often.

But they are also magic spells, our way of setting an intention into how we log in and how we want to remind ourselves of what it is we are here to do each day. Maybe not 8 zeros but some way to say amen to life, declare a easy to remember code name that reminds you of this year was started, who you are or want to become, and what you want to achieve.

Here’s advice on how to change passwords and I also recommend using Dashlane of one of the other password savers (with the known caveat that even these all-in-one solutions can pose their own risk) to make life easier on so many devices and sites. The problems of privilege. Login into Life in its manifestation as screens,  books and book-keeping with less fear, more security, and whatever helps us navigate challenges far less serious that the cold war, I hope, with as much as serenity as possible.

~Amichai