In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 30, 2007 / 11 Nissan, 5767

Joining the ranks of the non-complainers

By Marybeth Hicks

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The orthodontist appointment is supposed to begin at 10 a.m. We arrive a full five minutes early, which, for us, is nothing short of a miracle. We're never early for anything. Oftentimes, we don't even show up.

When we started with this orthodontic practice, I put the office phone number on my cell phone's speed dial just so I could make frequent, frantic calls as I careened toward nearly missed appointments. So on those rare occasions when we get there promptly, I feel we should be rewarded with a short stretch in the waiting room.

No go.

From the moment I open the door to the receiving area, I know we're in for a 90-minute wait even before my son is called back to the brace-face bullpen and my daughter and I are invited into the consultation room.

How do I know this? Just three seats are empty; all others occupied by several moms and dads who clearly set up camp a while ago. Briefcases and laptops, backpacks and magazines are strewn everywhere. The reception area reflects all the efficiency of a blizzard at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

We take the few scattered seats that are left, pulling off our winter coats as we acclimate to the stuffy medical smell drifting through the air vents. I grab a copy of People magazine — the one with Patrick Dempsey and his newborn twins on the cover — and settle back for some mindless pop culture.

Then, as if on cue, one of my children complains.

"This is taking too long," Jimmy fusses. "I'm bored."

I give him a look that says, "Make the best of it" and turn back to my magazine. An entire section is devoted to inside scoop from Oscar night, an event that hasn't made my radar screen since I started buying mac-and-cheese in bulk.

"I'm too tired to wait any longer," Amy says. (It has been all of five minutes.) "Besides, why am I here? I don't want any metal in my mouth."

"Find a book," I say, pointing to the collection of children's reading material.

"The Highlights magazines are all two years old." She sits back in her seat with a "harrumph" to tell me how unhappy she is.

The 10 a.m. appointment time comes and goes. We wait so long that I actually read the entire issue of People — even the stories about regular folks such as the Indiana sorority girls who claim to have been booted out of the house for being chubby and unpopular.

Just when I think I've consumed the entire magazine, I turn the page to read about Will Bowen, a Missouri pastor who's trying to rid the world of complaining, one cranky whiner at a time.

If you don't know, Mr. Bowen and his congregation have started a campaign called A Complaint Free World. Using inexpensive rubber bracelets (available free at www.ccunitykc.org), participants of this effort attempt to stop complaining for 21 days, the period of time experts say it takes to break a habit. If you catch yourself complaining, you switch the bracelet from one wrist to the other and start over counting the days without complaining.

I tear through this article in fascination — and also because I know I'm about to be called in for a discussion of Amy's myriad orthodontic issues, which will require me to leave the magazine in the waiting room. For some reason, the concept of eliminating complaining as explained by Mr. Bowen strikes me as a revelation.

Sure enough, just as I finish the article, Amy and I are called into an exam room. Jimmy joins us with a pained look on his face, his new wires installed with blue bands. His braces are tight. He is miserable.

At last we leave the office, our visit — anticipated at 40 minutes — having taken close to two hours.

This is reason enough to complain, and we do.

I notice that at least one of us is griping at any given time for the duration of the ride back to school. I'm annoyed about how long it took to get in and out of the orthodontist's office; Jimmy is unhappy about the pain in his mouth and that he has just learned he has a phantom tooth that will require oral surgery to remove; and Amy is wailing from the back seat about missing recess.

Nevertheless, somewhere in a deep, uneasy corner of my mind, I'm uncomfortable. I think that corner is the place where I know it's morally wrong to complain about your blessings.

Here I am, lucky enough to have a flexible job that allows me to take my children to an orthodontist; and here they are, lucky enough to have parents who can afford to give them straight, healthy teeth, but it's too time consuming and too painful, and we're too spoiled to just put up with the inconvenience of being fortunate.

Shame on us.

A few days later, I tell my family about Mr. Bowen's complaint-free bracelets. "I ordered 10 of them," I say. "Six for us and four for anyone else who might be interested. I'm hoping they get here in time for us to take a complaint-free spring break." My idea to pitch them on a vacation without complaining seems twisted, but there you go.

I'm telling you, those bracelets can't get here fast enough, because you know what my family did when I finished explaining this positive, complaint-free way of living?


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"The Perfect World Inside My Minivan -- One mom's journey through the streets of suburbia"  

Marybeth Hicks offers readers common-sense wisdom in dealing with today's culture. Her anecdotes of her husband and four children tap into universal themes that every parent can relate to and appreciate. -- Wesley Pruden, Editor-in-Chief, The Washington Times
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JWR contributor Marybeth Hicks, a wife of 19 years and mother of four children, lives in the Midwest. She uses her column to share her perspective on issues and experiences that shape families nationwide. To comment, please click here.


© 2006, Marybeth Hicks