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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 14, 2011 / 8 Adar II, 5771

Children and Grandchildren

By Alan Douglas




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Joe and Leslie invited my wife and me to go on a cruise to celebrate Joe's birthday. It was fun, and I discovered something on that cruise. Passengers on cruises do a lot socializing and sharing of stories but my friends, Joe and Leslie's interactions with the other passengers, were different. But first, let me tell you about when Lorrie ran into Susan.

Lorrie Lincoln had not seen Susan Evans since they graduated from high school almost fifteen years ago. Lorrie recognized her classmate on the street one day. Susan was wearing designer clothes, had a designer pocketbook with a prominent logo and expensive sunglasses. "Well, Susan," Lorrie exclaimed, "You look just terrific!" "Oh, the Red Door Spa does good work," chuckled Susan, quickly adding, "And I get a bit of a touch up every so often."

"Lorrie, what are you doing these days?" asked Susan. Before Lorrie could answer, Susan dove in, "Well, you know I married Claude Evans, you may have heard of him. He's a neurosurgeon." Lorrie smiled politely and said, "That's nice."

Without hesitating Susan continued, "Claude and I have two wonderful children, a boy and a girl. They both attend the Baldwin Academy- and they are straight A students." "Between the children, all of my social events, and my charity work, it is more than a full-time job!" explained Susan. Lorrie smiled sweetly and said, "That's nice." Susan jumped in again, "Our home in Wickstrum Woods's down by the river, but we also have a country place for our horses." "You must visit one day," purred Susan . Lorrie said, "That's nice."

Susan then proudly announced, "You know, my husband, the neurosurgeon, went to Harvard. We expect the children will go there also. Where did you go to college?" Lorrie said, "I went to the University of Miami." "Miami is such a fun place, you must have had a ball" Susan said, condescendingly. Lorrie paused, and then with gusto declared, "While I was there I learned about 'CHARMING.' Susan obviously confused, inquired, "What on earth did you learn about 'charming?" "Well," Lorrie said, smiling, "I learned how to be charming when someone else isn't." As she started to walk away Lorrie concluded, "You just smile, and keep repeating 'That's Nice, That's Nice…"

Parents try teaching their children how to cope with peer-group pressure. It seems that in all cultures parents face the same age-old dilemma. Their children want to own something or belong to something so they fit in with the other kids. This desperate need to belong by "fitting in" with everyone else is almost instinctive. The herd mentality shows up in clothes, cars, hairstyles, choice of colleges, which group the children join, and the full array of life's alternatives. Faced with their child's desire for whatever is popular or trendy, parents ineffectually counter with "Would you jump off a cliff if all the other kids were doing it?" Children want to be successful according to standards set by their peers, not by adult standards. Parents cite achievements as defined by adult standards. But the two standards are different.

When parents brag about their children; what exactly do they describe as accomplishments? "My son is a doctor" and "My daughter is on the honor roll" which reflects well on the parents of said child. They tell the rest of the world that their children are good citizens, no trouble at all - they fit in. Parental bragging might be boring, and, it gets competitive. You score points with a list of your child's or grandchild's honors. Parents aspire to be successful according to the standards set by their adult peers just as children try to succeed according to the standards set by their peers.

And what did Joe and Leslie teach me? On the cruise, when asked about their son and daughter, Joe and Leslie would mention occupations, but would always say how happy their children were and express how proud they were that their children are such good people. Joe and Leslie's satisfaction seeing their children happy and the pride they expressed in their children's values was lost on most of the passengers on the ship. It is an important lesson.

Imagine learning to brag about what should be important in our lives. Doing so would remind each of us of what should be holy. Children and adults, need to look at values, rather than objects. "Success" defined by possession is hollow, having no true meaning.

Next time you encounter someone bragging, about themselves or their children, remember, valuable and impressive aren't the same. If that doesn't work, then, "You just smile, and keep repeating 'That's Nice, That's Nice…"

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.

JWR contributor Alan Douglas, an author, media executive, speaker, and attorney, lives con brio- except when he is grumpy.


Previously:

Swearing, Shoes, and Mark Twain
How my poor man's Porsche, Virgil, prepared me for life
Leases and Landing Gear
The Oscars, Obama and Job Creation
Damages and Penalties
Obstacles with Impossibilities
Making Others Feel Bad
Referrals and Recommendations
Woodpecker Frustration
Phrases, Not Resolutions
I Was A Crime Fighter and Super Hero
Comforting with Sympathizing
Nautical Worry Killers
Can You Keep A Secret?
Holiday Card Hazards
Gifts
Sharing, Transparency and Dumping
Red Alert
Readers Respond Regarding Rabbi
Readers: I Need Your Help with my Rabbi
Humphrey Bogart and P. T. Barnum on Fighting with Family and Friends
Columbus, Honors and Hound Dogs
The Free Lunch
When your child suffers
Conversational Transmitted Diseases
Conservative, Liberal or American
Paris, Antarctica and Shopping
Personal Protection
Dispute Resolution
Jumped or Pushed?
Friends and Acquaintances
Revenge and Vindication

© 2010 Alan Douglas

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