Home
In this issue
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 June 20, 2011 / 18 Sivan, 5771

Father's Day: Lincoln, Edison and Nazis

By Alan Douglas




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Next time you complain about your father, or your son, or daughter … here is a bit of history for you. Thomas A. Edison, one of the greatest inventors in history, couldn't invent a way to make his relationship with his son, Thomas A. Edison, Jr. work, …


Thomas, Jr. couldn't seem to hit it big. The son's efforts at inventing and starting a mushroom farm failed, so he sold the use of his name to advertise "quack" medicines and dubious inventions. These resulting in numerous complaints, calls from creditors and lawsuits directed against his father, the famous inventor, Thomas A. Edison, who had "deep pockets". The elder Edison grew frustrated with Tom Junior and an agreement was reached. Thomas A. Edison, Junior was paid a chunk of change, and in return he legally changed his name legally to "Thomas Willard." The U.S. Park Service, Edison site preserves for posterity, the famous inventor's lament about his son, "I never could get him to go to school or work in the Laboratory. He is therefore absolutely illiterate scientifically and otherwise."


Yesterday, a lot of folks were saying, "Happy Father's Day" and with the exchanging of gifts and cards galore. People who would shirk at being called "wise" and scoff at being consider the keeper of "wisdom" dearly want their children to think of them that way. Country music is filled with examples of children who "discover" their parent's "wisdom." It dawns on most of us eventually that our parents were right about something just when our children start telling us how wrong we are about everything. Some parents serve as terrific negative role models. There are no perfect parents, no perfect kids; perfection is reserved for grandparents and grandchildren. Society bestows honors or casts shame upon children based on their fathers.

We should honor the many fathers who devoted their lives, not to be self-fulfilled or live their dreams- but so their children would have a better life. They sacrificed much, and some gave their all. There are fathers, uncles and grandfathers who bestow a heritage of service. My college roommate's father had been an Admiral in the United States Navy. Whenever my roommate drove his beat up, old Volkswagen on a Navy base; the car, displaying an Admiral's rank decal, always received a smart salute. Having given service to his country, the Admiral was able to pass on to his son an honor, not subject to estate taxes. But it only goes so far. As Abraham Lincoln said, "You have to do your own growing, no matter how tall your grandfather was." So, I say to children everywhere: "Appreciate what your parents did for you, but your father's accomplishments or misdeeds are not yours."

Fear of becoming your parents IS real. Shame passed on to families from infamous fathers results in shunning, beatings and worse. Last week I read about the growing movement in Germany for the children and grandchildren of famous Nazis to come to terms with their evil fathers and grandfathers. These Nazi crimes, and the monsters who committed them, should not be forgotten. After years of silence German children are demonstrating the courage to confront the truth about their Nazi relatives. The evil deeds they dredge up from the past prompt fear, shame and reprisals. A bleak legacy of self-loathing, depression, suicide and self-sterilization curses these families. Is it fitting that they suffer? It is human to want to inflict pain after devastating injustice, but it does not balance the scales of justice to inflict suffering on future generations.

So, I say to the children everywhere: "Appreciate what your parents did for you, but your father's accomplishments or misdeeds are not yours." We should value the misdeeds of our family as lessons learned; and what is good and noble in our heritage should inspire us to fight today's battles.

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:

D Day: The Ripple Effect
What are you paying for?
Law, Etiquette and 5 Rules
Inspiration
Confusing Kindness with Weakness
When Katie Couric Got Pulled Off the Air…
Don't second guess the deceased
Pain and legacies
Being in the No
The Sixth Sense
Dogs in Danger
Facebook, LinkedIn and the Zuckerberg Exit
Simon Bolivar Would Tell Glenn Beck to, ‘Put A Sock In It’
Children and Grandchildren
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

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles